Knight Fellow Launches Health Reporting Association in Kenya

Jan 72011

Knight Health Journalism Fellow Rachel Jones has started a new journalism association to improve the quality of health and science reporting in Kenya.

The Kenyan Alliance of Health and Science Reporters (KAHSR) offers workshops, mentoring sessions, expert briefings and a monthly online newsletter.

“Most African journalists simply don’t have access to the kind of training, mentoring and coaching required to significantly improve their content,” said Jones. “So very few can work at a level that could yield analytical, thought-provoking stories about health and science issues."

To launch the Alliance, Jones received a grant of $43,777 from the Wellcome Trust, a London-based charity committed to improving health around the world. “We are excited about the potential for building the capacity of journalists to help interpret and disseminate vital information that could truly change lives and communities on the African continent,” noted Dr. Daniel Glaser, Wellcome Trust’s Head of Special Projects—Public Engagement.

The Alliance provides five-day training workshops each quarter at Wellcome Trust research facilities, where journalists will be exposed to health researchers. It also provides five regional “Town Hall" events for larger groups of reporters across the country.

As a Knight Health Fellow, Jones has worked with scores of journalists at The Nation Media Group and the Nairobi Star, as well as with numerous freelance print and broadcast reporters. The new association allows her to reach an even broader group of health journalists around the country.