APHRC Media Awards Boost Coverage of Research Evidence

Part of APHRC’s dissemination efforts involves working with the media to share knowledge and equip journalists with essential skills to report on population and health research. As a way of increasing the quality and quantity of media coverage of research, as well as interesting journalists in reporting on research, APHRC sponsored two journalist awards of excellence and winners were announced in the first quarter of 2008.

The APHRC Sexuality Journalism Awards  
This award targeted print media journalists from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda who report on sexuality issues. Commenting on the winning entries, Dr. Chi-Chi Undie, an Associate Research Scientist leading the Sexuality program at APHRC said, “The winning entries featured stories that were well-written, balanced, and informative, and that underscored the importance of understanding sexuality in sub-Saharan Africa.” The winners included:

1st Prize: Bamuturaki Musinguzi - The East African
Honorable Mention, First Runner Up: Kakaire Ayub Kirunda, The Daily Monitor
Honorable Mention, Second Runner Up: Carolyne Nakazibwe, The Weekly Observer

1st Prize: Erick Kabendera, The Citizen
“I feel honored to win this award …this has encouraged me to report more on issues related to reproductive health and sexuality,” said Erick Kabendera, the award winner from Tanzania
Through increased media coverage of sexuality issues, the award helped promote the public’s understanding of sexuality and its linkages to socio-economic and development issues in the region. The award was sponsored by the Ford Foundation and winners received a cash award equivalent to Kshs. 50,000. While activities to publicize the award resulted in increased newspaper stories on sexuality issues in Kenya, Kenyan journalists did not submit any entries for consideration.

The 5th African Population Conference Competition for Journalists  
In collaboration with the Union of African Population Studies, APHRC held a competition for journalists who attended the 5th African Population Conference held from December 10-14, 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania. The competition aimed to encourage and reward best reporting of research evidence disseminated at the conference.
The competition received close to 40 entries from journalists in Cameroon, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Entries broadly covered key research issues discussed at the conference, highlighting their implications for development and poverty alleviation in Africa. The winners included:

Print Media Category:
1st Prize: Alice Emasu and Irene Nabusoba - New Vision, Uganda
2nd Prize: 
Xavier Messe – Quotidienmutations ,Cameroon;
Redemptor Atieno - Daily Nation, Kenya
3rd Prize:
Ayoki Onyango - Saturday Standard, Kenya
Aimable Twahirwa, Rwanda - Inter Press Service.

Electronic Media Category:
1st Prize:
Richard Chacha – NTV, Kenya
2nd Prize:
Lydia Kusia – Family FM, Kenya

Given that the competition was highly competitive with lots of quality entries, the judges felt the need to give special mention to some of the journalists who did not receive prizes, recognizing the quality of the articles they submitted; these were: Erick Kabendera, The Citizen, Tanzania; Shifa Mwesigye, Weekly Observer, Uganda; and Irene Nabusoba and Alice Emasu, New Vision, Uganda. First, second and third place winners received cash awards of US$800, US$400, and US$200, respectively