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Good news… Award to take health journalism training a notch higher

Date Posted : Monday, 21 Jan 2013

By Dorothy Otieno, Internews in Kenya.

Journalists and folks in the public health community have welcomed the news that Internews in Kenya has received funding for further health journalism training, through an award titled Health Media Project.

Building on the success of the USAID-funded Voices in Health, the project will enable Internews to continue to train and mentor journalists to tell compelling stories about HIV, family planning, and maternal and child health. For the first time, Internews will also offer guidance on telling the story of malaria in Kenya.  

“The future of journalism is digital and Internews is at the forefront of digital journalism training in Kenya. The news means that the organization will continue to train journalists on the use of digital technologies to tell captivating stories,” says NTV’s online editor James Ratemo.

His optimism is shared by Internews in Kenya’s Country Director Ida Jooste who says the four-year project has an emphasis on innovative ways to do training and digital media.

The head of the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision programme at NASCOP, Dr. Athanasius Ochieng, was thrilled with the news.

Congratulations Internews. We will continue to work together to empower local media to provide people with the news and information they need to reduce their exposure to HIV. We will take the VMMC agenda a notch higher: urge non-circumcising communities to take up male medical circumcision and promote infant male circumcision.”

Since 2008, Internews has initiated projects that brought together a diverse set of stakeholders to engage communities on VMMC.

John Muchangi, a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT (2012/2013) and a journalist with The Star, a daily national newspaper in Kenya, says the rapid expansion of the media in Kenya in the last 10 years has resulted in more journalists who do not have the skills for reporting on health issues.

“Internews trainings have meant a lot in my career and made me a better journalist. I will be happy to see more journalists in Kenya benefit too," he says.