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EJC and AfricaonAir confirm winners of Kenyan University Journalism Competition

23 October 2014 | PROJECT NEWS

 

EJC and local Kenyan partner AfricaonAir announced the winners of the first ever “Top Story” student investigative journalism competition in a gala award ceremony in the Rift Valley city of Nakuru on 18 October 2014. First place went to the team from Kenya Methodist University followed closely by the University of Nairobi. The top team was awarded a one-week media study visit.

A total of 65 Kenyan journalism students competed from 13 universities in reporting a mock scenario focused on white rhino poaching, a growing issue which afflicts many of the country’s game parks. Over three days the investigation brought the teams to various locations around the city, including Lake Nakuru National Park, home of most of the country’s remaining white rhino population.

Final submitted student team reportages were appraised by accomplished Kenyan journalists Rose Lukalo-Owino, Alex Chamwada and the BBC’s Dennis Okari. In their story evaluations judges took into account the level of journalistic professionalism, the correct use of sources, strong adherence to journalism ethics as well as thorough investigation of the story. The competition tested writing and interviewing style as well as featured embedded journalism ethical dilemmas and issues related to press freedom. Kenyan students all had the opportunity to enrich their university education by simulating the reality of the daily business of investigative journalists and submitting stories on deadline.

Students were mentored by AfricaonAir trainer Joseph Warungu along with KTN award-winning investigative reporter John Allan Namu. Simultaneously practical curriculum development workshops were arranged for professors from the competing universities and led by AfricaonAir experts.

The competition was first successfully initiated by EJC in Armenia in 2008 and is part of the EJC’ s five year Press Freedom 2.0 consortium global media development programming funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Kenya Methodist University took top prize in the first ever EJC student investigative journalism competition in Kenya
Kenya Methodist University took top prize in the first ever EJC student investigative journalism competition in Kenya: Edwin Ombiro Mercy Okinda Nelly Mukami Njue Janet Mwende Nzau Omenda Aswani Peter
The competition jury was represented by renown Kenyan journalists Dennis Okari, Rose Lukalo-Owino and Alex Chamwada.
The competition jury was represented by renown Kenyan journalists Dennis Okari, Rose Lukalo-Owino and Alex Chamwada.
Joseph Warungu (left) of AfricaonAir kicked off the competition and acted as student mentor.
Joseph Warungu (left) of AfricaonAir kicked off the competition and acted as student mentor.
Award winning Kenya Television Network (KTN) investigative journalist John Allan Namu mentored student teams during the competition.
Award winning Kenya Television Network (KTN) investigative journalist John Allan Namu mentored student teams during the competition.
Second place went to the team from University of Nairobi: Winnie Wambui Philip Maosa Rosemary Thuo Anthony KuriaDonald Nyokangi
Second place went to the team from University of Nairobi: Winnie Wambui Philip Maosa Rosemary Thuo Anthony Kuria Donald Nyokangi
EJC and AfricaonAir held curriculum development sessions with faculty from the participating journalism schools.
EJC and AfricaonAir held curriculum development sessions with faculty from the participating journalism schools.
BBC's Dennis Okari acted as competition juror and was on hand to present EJC/AfricaonAir certificates to participating students
BBC’s Dennis Okari acted as competition juror and was on hand to present EJC/AfricaonAir certificates to participating students
Students investigations took them to the Mama Ngina Primary school and interviews with teacher Martha Chebbe
Students investigations took them to the Mama Ngina Primary school and interviews with teacher Martha Chebbe
 Interviews in Lake Nakuru Park with Warden Carol Mwebia played a key role in the mock investigation
Interviews in Lake Nakuru Park with Warden Carol Mwebia played a key role in the mock investigation

Pictures by Sami Khan

Project:
Kenya: Raising Development Awareness Through the Media
The lack of in-depth, well-researched, and effective reporting on development issues in Kenya is weakening the media’s capacity to have an impact on the country’s political processes. EJC’s Kenya programme seeks to raise awareness to this problem, offering workshops dedicated to developing practical solutions by promoting relevant, powerful, and effective journalistic storytelling.