Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013

Internews alumni shine at awards

Three of the top African journalists in this year’s CNN Multichoice Awards are alumni of Internews.

Roseline Wangui, Florence Dzame and Thomas Bwire, who were all recognised in the award ceremony held in Cape Town last weekend meant to celebrate the top cream of journalism in Africa, have been trained in feature production by Internews.

Broadcast journalists Roseline Wangui and Wambui Kurema of  NTV won the TV feature awards with their unique story of beading of girls in the Samburu community in preparation for being married off  in their early teenage. Roseline said production and airing of the feature had a great impact as there was sensitization against the outdated tradition with parents being encouraged to send their girls to school instead.

Judy Kosgei and Mauritius Odour of Citizen TV, were runners up in the TV feature awards category.

For the first time in the CNN awards, community radio programmes stole the show from mainstream radios after both the winner and runners up were picked from Kenyan community radio stations.

A story produced by Florence Dzame on the plight of minors who engage in sex work in Korogocho slums won the Radio General News award category of the CNN award. One of the judges said what caught their attention was that the story, which was aired by Koch FM, was difficult to tell but the producer managed to capture very strong sound bites by the small girls explaining their experiences.

The runner up of this category was yet another community radio story produced by Thomas Bwire of Pamoja FM in Kibera slums. His story was about the talking box used by children living in Kibera to report any issues they are not comfortable sharing with parents. The box is opened once a week by the teachers who strategise on how to address the issues highlighted with the students. Reported incidents include sensitive ones such as incest among others.

Another Kenyan, Brenda Okoth working with the Star Newspaper, won the health and medical award with her story on Audrey Mbugua who wrestled with an identity crisis after ‘he’ felt trapped in the wrong body. Audrey’s story attracted a lot of attention in the country and gave trans-gender community and experts an opportunity to discuss this topic candidly in the media.

The overall CNN awards winners were Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali of Daily Dispatch in South Africa. Besides trophies, cash awards, laptops and printers, the two will get an opportunity to participate in the CNN journalist’s fellowship in Atlanta.

About 1400 stories were entered in the CNN award this year.

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