Monday, 05 May 2014

Internews alumni awarded by the Media Council of Kenya

Jeckonia Otieno (fourth from left), an Internews in Kenya alumnus, celebrating with fellow 2014 Media Council of Kenya award winners in Nairobi on May 3, 2014.

By James Ratemo
Jeckonia Otieno, a journalist with the Standard Media Group and 2014 winner of the Media Council of Kenya Health Reporting award (print) believes data-driven journalism is the way to go.

Also read: Internews alumni shine at the 2013 Media Council of Kenya awards

The alumnus of the Internews in Kenya, won for his data story that he did on an Internews travel grant, titled: Acute shortage of staff delivers pain to mums seeking free maternity.
“Data journalism is the way to go because facts are sacred. Nobody can dispute evidence from data, we however still have challenges in the newsrooms because most editors still do not value data stories.... more training and sensitization is required for editors” said Mr. Otieno.

Mr. Otieno’s story was a follow up of a Kenya’s Jubilee government free maternal health policy. Free maternal health was an election promise by the Jubilee government. However there arose reports that due to inadequate resources, women seeking the free maternal service in public were being sent away.

“With the Internews grant, I set out to examine the real situation of free maternal care in Kenya. I went to hospitals, talked to doctors, interrogated the data and saw for myself that the truth on the ground was different from what was being said by the government. The public hospitals were not equipped to handle the high number of women seeking the free service,” explains Mr. Otieno.

“I feel good to win and I thank Internews (in Kenya) for the training and the grant. It was inavaluable. Without it I won’t have done the data-driven story. Without the story, I wouldn’t have won,” he said.

Mr. Otieno was among many other Internews in Kenya alumni who won in several categories. The runner’s up in the Health Reporting print category was an Internews in Kenya 2013 Paul Wafula was runner’s up in the category and another data journalism training alumni Allan Olingo.
Marie Yambo a journalist with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation won in the health reporting category (TV) with Irene Choge (NTV) bagging the runner’s up award in the same category.

“I feel so good for winning this category for two years running. I am happy with the training Internews in Kenya has given me. I can now walk on my own and do stories on my own initiative,” said Yambo.

In 2013 other Internews in Kenya alumni also bagged several awards in the annual journalism awards. Read: Internews alumni shine at the Media Council of Kenya awards

BBC reporter Dennis Okari (formerly of NTV) emerged the best reporter of the year in the third annual ceremony organized by the Media Council of Kenya.
Other Internews in Kenya alumni who won awards at the gala event include: Violet Otindo (K24 TV) - winner Environmental category (TV) and runner’s up in two other categories, Kiundu Waweru (Standard Newspaper) - Children and Youth Affairs category (print) and Anthony Gitonga (second runners up- Children and Youth Affairs category).
Diana Wanyonyi won the health and children’s category (radio) and was also runner’s up in another category.

Miswalleh Zingizi (QFM) bagged the arts and culture award (Radio), Judy Kaberia (Capital FM) and Robert Wanjala were runner’s up in Freedom of the Press category. William Inganga (KNA) was also a second runner’s up in the Tourism Reporting category (TV).

Ali Maingu (Radio Salaam) bagged the Environment Reporting award (Radio), Asha Bekidusa, the ICT and Telecommunications Radio award and Josphat Kioko, the Sports Reporting award (Radio)
Overall, Dennis Okari and Joseph Mathenge were crowned journalists of the year.
For the past three years, the Media Council of Kenya has been marking the World Press Freedom Day (May 3) by celebrating the best in Kenyan journalism through the ‘Annual Journalism Excellence Awards’.

There were fifteen Internews alumni among the winners at the gala held in Nairobi on May 3, which also coincided with World Press freedom day. The journalists were feted in a bid to recognize and uphold excellence and professionalism in Kenya’s media industry.

Winners in various categories were awarded with a trophy, a certificate, a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone, a Star Times Decorder and sh40,000.

Also read: Internews 2013 data journalism fellow wins David Astor Journalism award

 The AJEA in 2014 recognised journalists in various media platforms; print, radio, television and online.
The categories included:  ICT and Telecommunications, Children and Youth Affairs, Sports, Tourism, Arts and Culture, Photojournalist of the Year, Cartoonist of the Year, Business, Good Governance, Cameraperson of the Year, Health Reporting, Free Press Kenya, Television and News Bulletin, Young Journalist of the Year, Journalist of the Year, Gender Reporting Award and the Environment Reporting Award.

Click here for full list of winners download:

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