By Dorothy Otieno, Print Trainer, Internews in Kenya.
Health reporting has always been Anne Soy’s favourite beat. But when she was asked, as a junior reporter at KTN, to produce the weekly HIV segment “Mend the Ribbon”, she acknowledges she felt a little out of her depth.
Never one to walk away from a challenge, she went on a quest to grow her skills in health journalism as the regular producer of the segment took sick leave. Her search for skills ended at the doors of Internews, and in the process Anne became one of the first TV trainees at the organization.
Since then the KTN senior reporter and finalist in the AfriComNet 2012 Annual award for Excellence in HIV and AIDS communication in Africa has come a long way.
“I feel honored to have been shortlisted for the award. I hope my achievement will motivate young journalists across the continent to take greater interest in science journalism and make science relevant and attractive to the African audience with a view to spurring development,” she said on receiving the news from Internews which had nominated her for the Simplifying Complex HIV Science category.
The competition that recognizes outstanding contributions made by individuals and organizations to strategic HIV and AIDS communication received entries from across Africa.
Anne entered two stories including The muffled killer, a three-part feature on male sex workers and their role in the transmission of HIV in Kenya.
The series on the topic that the Kenya media usually shies away from received immense viewership in Kenya and abroad.
The second story was a two-part series on XDR TB in Kenya.
The story centered on the case of an extensively drug resistant TB patient who was using public transport regularly came about as a result of a tip-off from trainers at Internews. The national Ombudsman is investigating the delay in the renovation of a TB the isolation unit at Kenyatta National Hospital.
The winner of the AfriComNet award will be announced during an award ceremony to be held on 13 November 2012 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
For more on the awards visit: http://www.africomnet.org/awards