By Tole Nyatta, Internews in Kenya.
Jacob Ngetich and Rita Damary emerged winners of the Land print fellowship 2012.Jacob of Daily Nation and Rita of the Star won the award after scoring the highest marks in a competition that attracted 8 journalists from the Rift valley, Nairobi and Coast.
Internews responded to Kenya’s 2008 post-election violence with a project to introduce journalists based at community and mainstream radio stations to a conflict sensitive, ethical approach to their work. In early 2010, Internews received additional USAID funding to extend the Land and Conflict Sensitive (LCSJ) program until March 2013. This is allowing Internews to engage with a group of targeted media outlets up to and beyond the next Presidential Election.
The Land and Conflict project offered this 4-week long fellowship, that commenced on 13th August and ends in 14th September 2012,. It is designed to equip journalists with skills to produce land themed investigative stories from Kenya.
The fellowship, will explore reporting on land issues affecting citizens and land reforms going on in the country. These fellows now get an opportunity to take time out from the newsroom and enhance their investigative journalism skills while engaging in high quality, high impact land beat reporting.
A jury of 3 judges was set up to pick two successful candidates. The two have started the fellowship and have started working on their respective story ideas.
’The story ideas submitted by the applicants were diverse and they are addressing the problems facing the common people on the ground ‘’said James Oranga one of the Jurists who was appointed to pick out the successful applicants. “There’s need to empower them on telling the stories from the human interest aspect to enhance creativity and good use of storytelling telling techniques” he added.
“Everything is wow and I’m very happy. It will really help me in my work” said Rita Damary, I have realized that there is still a lot to learn especially in Digital media. I started a blog and have posted a story already. I can’t wait to learn more”
“I appreciate the opportunity the fellowship will offer me. I’m glad I got the fellowship through a competitive process and I believe the fellowship is going to add value to the quality of stories I do” said Jacob Ngetich.
During the fellowship the journalist will go through a series of mentoring sessions which include meeting land and legal experts, storytelling, photography, multimedia, digital media and research before they embark on the field work where they will interact with communities and come out with deeply researched stories at the end of the four weeks of the fellowship.