Online File Photo of Media Council of Kenya CEO Mr. David Omwoyo
Albert Mwanyasi of Sifa FM Marsabit & Dennis Kemboi of Hekima FM are among the 100 journalists already listed to benefit from the Health Reporting Grants on Covid 19 by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK).
In a Press release sent to newsrooms during the grant launch late last month indicated that the grant aims at supporting the journalists in their reporting on the Corona Virus Disease 19 or COVID-19, will see up to 500 Media Council of Kenya -accredited journalists get grants ranging from KES 1,000.00 to KES 25,000.00 to facilitate their reporting and coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya.
Speaking while launching the initiative, MCK CEO David Omwoyo noted that the Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines on the control of the virus, have had an effect on the work of journalists and that they need support to carry out their work: “We are eager to see to it that journalists are facilitated to carry out their work in this environment of depressed incomes and economic activity. The media plays a critical role in public health messaging and as such we want to ensure that we do what we can to facilitate their work for the greater public good.”, He stated
Through a partnership with the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) the grant program will see every cohort of grantees receive mentorship from four evaluators as they progress with their work as well as periodic webinar coaching from the MCK’s Africa Media Academy as stated Christine Nguku, MCK’s Manager for Training & Media Development who heads the academy.
In relation to his entry Dennis Kemboi will focus his reporting on Hekima FM listeners displaced by raging floods amid the coronavirus pandemic confining people to their homes and avoiding overcrowding as they observe social distance, putting on masks and frequently sanitizing and washing their hands. While Albert Mwanyasi of Sifa FM will focus on achieving a healthy diet in Arid and Semi Arid (ASAL) areas during Corona pandemic with key focus on Marsabit County.
Albert Mwanyasi and Dennis Kemboi in the field and in the studios
Speaking upon receiving the news Hekima FM Station Manager Carol Kinuthia expresssed her excitement over the opportunity to give focus on their listeners considering that a majority of them have been greatly affected by the floods."The reports will come in handy and also allow the listeners to know that we are thinking about during these tough times" said Carol. On the other hand, Michael Kwoba Sifa FM Marsabit Station Manager also welcomed the listing of Albert adding that it’s a great support towards helping the station meet its goal of promoting healthy living both spiritually and physically.
Both Dennis and Albert received the news with excitement and have already begun the preparations of their reports after their first virtual trainings
The Media Council hopes to award 500 successful applicants through the initiative and the listing will be happening weekly for four weeks and the programs has so far attracted 20 sponsors.
By Geoffrey Otieno