20 Finalists Named in African Health Reporting Competition

Dec 112013

Twenty journalists from across the continent have been shortlisted in the Health theme of the $1 million African Story Challenge Program.

Nairobi, Kenya, December 11, 2013 - Twenty journalists have been shortlisted as finalists in the $1 million African Story Challenge, a program of reporting grants to encourage innovative, multi-media storytelling that aims to improve the health and prosperity of Africans.

The project encourages journalists to experiment with new content ideas and ways to engage audiences through mobile technology, social media and other innovative tools. It also aims to spur compelling, analytical, investigative and data-driven stories that lead to better policies, increase transparency and hold officials accountable.

In all, over 200 entries from across the continent were screened by a technical review panel that evaluated which ideas have the best potential to become top-quality stories on health, the second of five themed categories covered by the challenge. Other contest categories include business and technology. “It’s exciting to see that our competition is attracting top caliber of journalists and a mix of well established media houses, as well as small but influential publications and stations,” said Story Challenge editor, Joseph Warungu. “The range of story ideas proposed is rich and comprehensive and covers health issues that really matter to Africans.”

Finalists will attend a Story Camp in Lagos, Nigeria in January to refine their ideas and learn digital and data journalism tools to enhance their work and ensure maximum impact and public engagement. They also will receive grants and mentoring to complete the projects. After their broadcast or publication, an international panel of editors and media experts will judge the shortlisted twenty stories to select the competition winners. In the first theme of the competition, the three winning entries came from Ghana, South Africa and Kenya. During its two year run, the project will award approximately 100 major reporting grants and provide mentoring to support the best ideas for stories on development issues. Journalists who produce the best stories published or broadcast in media that reach African audiences will win a major international reporting trip. The Story Challenge is a project of the African Media Initiative (AMI), the continent’s largest association of media owners and operators, in partnership with the International Center for Journalists. Warungu, who is AMI’s content development manager, developed the project while an ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellow attached to AMI.

The Story Challenge is supported by an $800,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The programme also has support from the African Development Bank and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra).

The finalists, in alphabetical order, are:
Ajibola Amzat, The Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria
Ayenew Haileselassie, Daily Monitor, Ethiopia
Bivai Idissa, Journal Agricole, Togo
Ebrima Sillah, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ghana/Senegal
Elísio Muchanga, Magazine Independente, Mozambique
Eugene Nforngwa, Standard Tribune, Cameroon
Gibbs Dube, VOA Zimbabwe Service, Zimbabwe
Issakwisa Mwaifuge, Independent Television (ITV), Tanzania
Joy Wanja, Daily Nation, Kenya
Kerry Cullinan, Health-e News, South Africa
Kiprotich Koros, Science Africa, Kenya
Kolawole Talabi, Rise Networks, Nigeria
Mongezi Zulu, The Nation Magazine, Swaziland
Mutale Pamela Kapekele, Zambia Daily Mail, Zambia
Ousman Sillah, Foroyaa Newspaper, The Gambia
Raymond Baguma, New Vision Newspaper, Uganda
Rebbeca Davis, The Daily Maverick, South Africa
Sam Makaka, Malawi News Agency, Malawi
Selase Kove – Seyram, New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Ghana
Tsitsi Matope, Lesotho Times, Lesotho

Special Projects:
Bamutarika Musinguzi, Daily Monitor, Uganda
Sydney Masinga, Ziwaphi, South Africa

For more information or to request an interview, kindly contact:

Maimouna Jallow
Project Manager
Tel: + 254 701 572 757

Joseph Warungu
Editor & Project Director
Tel: +254-722-708-370