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Daneel Knoetze, Lucy Kassa and Mr Macaroni win Gatefield’s 2021 People Journalism Prize for Africa

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Now in its third year, the PJPA is a public service journalism initiative to recognize and reward journalists, citizen reporters, and social justice newsmakers on the continent.

This year’s nominees and winners have been selected by journalists, human rights defenders, and public opinion shapers across the continent.

The winners are Daneel Knoetze, People Journalist of the Year 2021; Lucy Kassa, People Journalist for Informed Commentary 2021; and Debo Adebayo aka Mr Macaroni, People Newsmaker for Social Justice 2021.

The winners:

People Journalist of the Year 2021 – Daneel Knoetze

Daneel Knoetze is an investigative journalist from South Africa and a 2017 Cronkite Humphrey fellow.

His work, “Killing the Files,” exposes the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and its failure to properly conduct investigations, hold police accountable and to bring justice to the victims.

Knoetze also has a documentary titled  “A Killing in the Winelands” that delves into a cornerstone incident in the investigation.

We selected Daneel Knoetze and the Viewfinder team for exposing a sinister coverup scheme within the South African Police Service’s internal watchdog that offered protection to violent officers.

People Journalist for Informed Commentary 2021 – Lucy Kassa 

Lucy Kassa is an Ethiopian investigative journalist who has reported extensively on the war in northern Ethiopia and continues to report on the atrocities committed by all sides in the war in northern Ethiopia.

She was attacked and denounced by the Ethiopian government after her Los Angeles Times piece about the atrocities carried out by Eritrean mercenary soldiers in the war torn Tigray region of Ethiopia.

We selected Lucy Kassa for documenting the atrocities of the Ethiopian war,exposing the use of chemical weapons against civilians and the rape of women caught in the conflict.

People Newsmaker for Social Justice 2021– Debo Adedayo (Mr. Macaroni)

At great personal risk, Debo Adebayo remained undeterred after the brutal murder of anti-police brutality #endsars protesters in Lagos, Nigeria.

He advocated for victims’ accountability and was arrested for leading the #occupylekkitollgate protests in memory of state violence victims.

We selected Debo Adebayo for remaining undeterred in his pursuit of justice and accountability for the victims.

Gatefield is a Sub-Saharan African public strategy and media group that influences positive change.

The PJPA is Gatefield’s leading corporate social responsibility commitment to advance democratic freedoms and societal change.

Media & Training

FactSpace West Africa and AW Free Foundation partner to tackle misinformation

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FactSpace West Africa, one of the leading fact-checking organisations in Africa, has entered into a partnership with AW Free Foundation to expand the fight against misinformation, disinformation, fake news and propaganda across Africa.

AW Free Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded by AfricaWeb, one of the biggest publishers in Africa operating in Ghana (ghanaweb.com), Cameroon (camerounweb.com), Nigeria (mynigeria.com), Tanzania (tanzaniaweb.com) and Togo among other African countries.

The partnership seeks to leverage on AfricaWeb’s reach of 4 million multilingual visitors per month across three regions of Africa and its wide network of multilingual journalists to verify, fact-check and widely publish verified information in multiple languages across Africa.

FactSpace West Africa and AfricaWeb platforms across West, Central and East Africa would introduce newly developed digital features that would, among others, rate the accuracy of information including claims by public officials, institutions etc.

“This is a fact-checking/publisher partnership built to address the age-long challenge of debunks that have minimal online reach. Fact-checks are always known to hobble in the face of viral misinformation. But not anymore. This collaboration will ensure that millions of Africans online get access to verified information while we ensure purveyors of misinformation are held accountable – which speaks to our positioning as a second-generation fact-checker,” said Rabiu Alhassan, the Director and Managing Editor of FactSpace West Africa.

Among other activities, FactSpace West Africa and AW Free Foundation would organise fact-checking training for journalists, whistleblowers, CSOs and the general public to develop their fact-checking skills.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, journalist and whistleblowers’ exposure to misinformation and disinformation, if left unaddressed, could further undermine the precarious foothold of independent media on the continent. So, with this partnership, AW Free Foundation plans to explore misinformation and disinformation in multiple African countries through in-depth research, policy briefs and to build the capacity of 2500 journalists across all 5 regions of the continent to restore trust in the media,” said Emmanuel Vitus Agbenonwossi, the Executive Director of AW Free Foundation.

FactSpace West Africa and AW Free Foundation look forward to training thousands of fact-checkers in Africa and consistently fact-checking and verifying information in multiple African languages.

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Kenya Elections 2022

MCK Graduates The First Cohort Of Trainers On Election Reporting Guidelines

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The first cohort of 38 trainers commissioned by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) graduated on Friday after a comprehensive three-day training on elections at the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications.

The trainers have been accredited by the Council to enable them to undertake the countrywide training for journalists and media practitioners on elections coverage.

The Council launched the Training of Trainers (TOT) on Election coverage last Wednesday as part of its contribution to fostering a free, fair and democratic elections. This is in line with the Council’s mandate of promoting media professionalism as stipulated under the Media Council Act 2013 section 6(1)(f).

Journalists Luke Awich (The Star), Geofrey Mosoku (Centre) and Radio Journalist Terry Nzau during a training workshop by Media Council of Kenya.                                                                                                   MCK CEO Mr David Omwoyo said the standardised training seeks to equip journalists and media practitioners with the requisite skills to cover elections in a manner that is comprehensive, accurate, impartial and fair.

 

 

 

 

 

He added that the trainers would not merely be training reporters one-off but will undertake continuous mentoring throughout the electioneering period to ensure professionalism.

Mr Omwoyo said mentorship is particularly key now in the era of social media and growth of FM radios and attendant call-ins which can easily degenerate into hate speech and other offences of the Code of Conduct for the practice of journalism in Kenya.

“The industry is doing a lot now, including planning presidential and lower-level debates to ensure an issue-based election, and this mentorship is particularly key for community media practitioners,” Mr Omwoyo said at the training conducted in partnership with the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications.

The training is drawn from the Training Manual for Election Coverage which was drafted by a team of experienced journalists, media trainers and editors led by University of Nairobi journalism lecturer Dr James Oranga. Other members of the team are Pamela Asigi, Rachel Nakitare, Owino Opondo, Harry Misiko, Tom Japanni, Caleb Atemi, Prof Nancy Booker, Sammy Muraya, Francis Openda and Dorothy Kweyu.

The first of its kind in Kenya, the manual is tailored to ensure professional coverage of elections as outlined in the Media Council of Kenya Guidelines for Election Coverage 2022.

MCK Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo (L) chatting with a team of trainers. Extreme right is MCK Director of Media Development and Training Victor Bwire.

The Council will conduct a series of trainings across the country in the run up to the August 2022 polls.

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Media & Training

Women In News Leadership Accelarator Programme In Africa 2022 kicks Off In 10 African Countries

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Women in News Leadership Accelarator programme in Africa 2022 has kicked off in 10 African countries.

A total of 180 women (media practitioners) from 10 African countries are set to benefit from the leadership accelerator program that will run for nine months.

The WAN-IFRA 2022 cohort was launched on February 24th its main objective is training and empowering media women, equipping skills and creating network for their professional career throughout Africa.

The members of beneficiaries’ countries include, Kenya, Somalia, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania, and South Sudan.

The Women in News leadership programme is an intensive course that covers actual leadership and management situation that affects the newsrooms.

WIN Africa Director Jane Godia said during that 2022 they received huge number of applicants than before and that why they had to double the number of participants in the programme.

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to be part of the launching the WAN_IFRA women in News, Leadership accelerator 2022 programme. To 180 women selected from a pool of over 500 applicants, congratulations,” said Godia.

Jane Godia also used her time to encourage and all the applicants to take advantage of the opportunity to fully develop into the phenomenal female media practitioners to their destined.
“I am informed that in the next 9 months, you will go through an intensive course that covers actual leadership and management situations that affect newsrooms. I, therefore, urge all of you all to distinguish yourselves in this very-sought-after initiative by Women in News. Use this chance in full to develop into the phenomenal female media practitioners you are destined to be,” she added.

However, The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services in Zimbabwe Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, challenged the poor management affecting many news rooms including low pay grade, sexual harassment, slow and low progression to leadership positions.

“It is extremely discouraging that men hold more than 70% of newsroom management jobs in the majority of countries, while female journalists hold only 27%. It is, therefore, not surprising that women are noticeably scarce from decision-making positions within media houses in Africa and elsewhere,” said Mutsvangwa.

According to Monica Mutsavangwa, in Zimbabwe, they have introduced a raft of media reforms in the last 3 years, which has resulted in the appointment of three female journalists to head the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as CEO, the Sunday Mail as Editor and where herself Post as Editor as well while Faith Zaba, is the Editor of the privately-owned newspaper, The Zimbabwe Independent.

Zimbabwe has also opened up the media space by licensing more private Commercial Television Stations, 7 of them, 14 Community Radio Stations, 8 Campus Radio stations, 6 National Radio Stations, and 10 local commercial Radio Stations.
According to the report, 40% of women media professionals have, at least in one way or another experienced verbal or physical sexual harassment in the workplace. Yet only 1 in 5 reported the incidents.

Though less prevalent, men have not been spared, with an average of 12% experiencing verbal and/or physical harassment, from you women.

“My Ministry, being in charge of media in Zimbabwe, is committed to do more to engage media regulatory authorities and heads of media houses to actively put in place measures to stave off sexual harassment in the media workspace,” said Mutsavangwa.

She added that it will be important if all organizations have functional sexual harassment policies that we clearly outline reporting mechanisms and resultant penalties for perpetrators.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, made gender equality part of international human rights law.

It is in this Women in News’ key focus on this area is critical to the development of the media industry and have implore them to upscale support in this area.

Monica Mutsavangwa also noted that more often the coverage of issues that affect women and children gets relegated to less significant pages and are also fewer relatives to other news content.

 

The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services in Zimbabwe Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, urge all women that after they graduate, with all the wealth of skills, wisdom and knowledge they would have gained, they must go and use it to empower other women in the industry.

In her conclusion remark, she asked those from Kenya, and Zimbabwe, who elections are coming up soon to use the skills they have gain to ensure women candidates have visibility in the media and also that women are empowered with information to ensure they vote wisely.

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