By Michael Mubangizi
Uganda Christian University (UCU) will today June 2nd, 2017 mark ten years of the existence of The Standard, a community newspaper run by UCU students. At 10 years and still counting, The Standard is by far Uganda’s oldest, consistent and quality university newsprint. It publishes 6,000 print copies each month, and has an average 3,800 online readers. Its online version can be accessed via http://thestandard.ucu.ac.ug/
Formed in May 2007, The Standard is a bi-monthly print and online newspaper which was set up to serve as a hands-on training ground for the UCU Mass Communication students and graduates.
It provides an opportunity for students and finalist interns to put journalism theory into practice in an environment that expands their knowledge and skills, as well as enhance professional employability.
According to Assoc. Prof. Monica Chibita, the Head of Mass Communication department at UCU, “The Standard has produced journalists who have spent a year in a newsroom-like environment and who are well grounded ethically. In that sense, The Standardhas contributed to the quality of journalism in Uganda.”
Students and interns who have gone through The Standard are doing well in the various newsrooms and communications offices in and outside of Uganda.
The newspaper’s alumni include: Dr. Brian Semujju (now a senior lecturer at UCU’s Mass Communication department) John Semakula (award-winning The New Vision journalist), Pius Opae Papa (RIP, The Observer), Timothy Murungi, Desire Ruth Ochom, Dennis Wandera, Frank Obonyo (Compassion International, formerly at The New Vision), Brenda Asiimwe, and Dorcus Murungi, among others.
As part of the commemorative events to mark ten years of The Standard, the university has organized an exhibition and cocktail to be officiated by Ms. Barbara Kaija, the Editor-in-Chief, The New Vision.
Commenting on the exhibition, Ann Mugunga, The Standard supervisor and managing editor said, “It is meant to showcase the work of The Standard through the years as well as reflect and celebrate the paper’s achievements.”
The Standard is distributed to UCU staff and students at both her main campus in Mukono and in her two constituent colleges in Bishop Barham University College, in Kabale and Mbale University College in Mbale. Others are UCU Kampala Campus and UCU Arua Campus. The newspaper is also distributed to the general public during UCU functions such as graduation ceremonies, exhibitions, and school and community outreach activities.