They come from vastly different backgrounds. Rural villages and semi-urban areas in Kenya where harsh, real-life experiences have shaped their experiences and their thinking. But they also come from places that have shaped their positive attitudes about improving life in Kenya. They decided long ago to start doing something by writing and producing stories about health challenges in Kenya, and today their ongoing efforts to tell the story of Kenya’s health challenges have received more international recognition.
Internews has just awarded 3 Kenyan reporters the Health Journalism Fellowships for 2012. They are Stanley Ongwae, a radio journalist who won the Commonwealth Broadcast award 2011, William Inganga, an investigative TV journalist with the Kenya News Agency and Marie Yambo, a health journalist with KBC.
“Apart from being good journalists, we wanted the recipients of the Internews Health Journalism Fellowships to be examples of the important work that needs to be done in the health sector in Kenya,” says Ernest Waititu, the director of Health and Digital Media at Internews.
“The fellowship will assist the reporters to explore reporting on family planning, maternal health and HIV/AIDS. The fellowship is designed to equip journalists with skills to produce complex, long-form stories on health issues,” says Waititu.
Each fellow will benefit from one-on-one mentoring with top journalists, discussions with health experts and travel grants.
“Our fellows will learn how to produce documentaries-style content and even get the opportunity to meet world-renowned documentary makers!” says Waititu.
The Fellows were selected by experienced journalist experts in a competitive application process. The judges were former features editor at KTN Christine Nguku, Citizen Radio Producer Young Muthomi, The People Chief Sub-editor Gathenya Njaramba, KTN News Editor, Innocent Mbaya and The Standard Senior Editor Andy Kagwa.
The Health Fellowship was established last year. The beneficiaries from last year’s fellowship, Irene Choge, Violet Otindo and Dann Okoth, remain very active voices in health journalism in Kenya.
*Watch this space for Internews’ fascinating profiles on the 3 Health Fellowship recipients.