Aug 202014

Changing the World One Story at a Time

In my two and half years as a program officer at the International Center for Journalists, I have met many incredible people who are changing the world one story at a time. Recently, I had the chance to observe this process first hand when I traveled to Southern Africa with nine journalists from six countries.

Jul 122013

Mozambique Newspaper Monitors Polling Places With New Citizen Reporting Tool

The editorial team at Mozambique's @Verdade newspaper is gearing up to report on the country's municipal elections in November and national elections next year. With 2,500 polling stations across the country to monitor, it’s a tough job for any newsroom, and especially for @Verdade’s, which has just an 11-person editorial staff.

That's where an innovative citizen reporter network comes into play.

For the first time ever, citizens are helping @Verdade to report on the election process.

Apr 262013

How Health Coverage Went From Second-Rate to Top-Tier in Mozambique

When Mercedes Sayagues arrived in Mozambique three years ago to begin work as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, health news was consigned to the back pages, health stories were based on news releases, and health assignments went to the least experienced reporters.

Salane Muchanga

Under Knight Fellow Mercedes Sayagues’ mentoring, Mozambican journalists like Salane Muchanga won prizes for local health reporting and elevated the importance of health journalism in a country where thousands die every year from preventable diseases.

Oct 112012

Reducing Deaths From Illegal Abortion in Mozambique

On Friday, September 28 – the Day of Global Action for Decriminalization of Abortion – my trainees splashed the gruesome consequences of clandestine abortion across major Mozambican media. The weekly SOL published a two-page story on abortion in Inhambane province, 500 kilometers north of Maputo, while the daily O Pais, Radio Mocambique and three Internet news sites picked up a story from the Portuguese news service LUSA by a reporter I coach, Emanuel Pereira.

Mozambique - Story on Kuchinga

Using data, health journalists at Mozambique's weekly newspaper Savana proved that the tradition of "widow cleansing" increases the risk of HIV infection.

Mozambique - Declan w/journo at Entebbe workshop

Knight Fellow Declan Okpalaeke, president of the newly formed African Health Journalists Association, is helping lead the way for health data journalism training in Africa. (Photo by Mercedes Sayagues)

Jul 252012

Learning Data Visualization Skills Helps Tell Compelling Stories in Africa

For two days, the trainers became trainees, and it was fun. We stepped into the world of data visualization using the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). These population-based surveys provide reliable information on HIV, malaria, gender, family planning, maternal and child health, and nutrition in more than 90 countries.

Jul 252012

Unsafe Abortion Makes News, as Mozambique Prepares for a Change in Law

Abortions are technically illegal in Mozambique. Even though the laws are no longer enforced, medical standards have yet to catch up, especially in rural areas where patients find less sterile, riskier procedures. Now with a new effort to revamp and discard the old national laws, all that is about to change.