You wake up in a different reality; everyone knows your name and your phone can’t stop ringing. Been there? Well these journalists have. Internews in Kenya organized an interactive session that brought together budding journalists and journalists who have recently won International awards and fellowships.
The event was dubbed ‘after the awards, what next. What the awardees had in common was that they had benefitted from Internews journalism training, or they had reported on a remote story through the Internews travel grant program.
“I now have to be more responsible when reporting,” said Beryl Ooro, winner of the CNN HIV/AIDS Health Reporting 2011 award. “I cannot churn out a half baked story.” Beryl’s winning piece was about an 89 year old man living with HIV in a rural village in Western Kenya.
Others who have received international recognition are Stanley Ongwae, winner of the Commonwealth One World Media Award, Kimani Githae and Sylvia Chebet of Citizen TV, who won the CNN Economic and Business award and George Orido who will be attending the International Visitors’ Leadership fellowship in the United States. Multiple award winner and Managing Editor of the Nation Media Group, Linus Kaikai, told the journalists that awards are not the only benchmark of success. “You yourself would know if you have done well with a story or not”, said Kaikai. Kaikai also warned that awards can be the beginning of better things, or the beginning of the end. “After the awards there is more success …or failure”, he said. He explained that if awards keep you on your toes, your stories become even better. “But if they make you believe you’ve made it, your stories will get worse, not better.”