April 13, 2010 – This year, CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards celebrates its 15th year anniversary, and with seven Kenyans making the list of finalists.
They will compete against another 20 African journalists from 14 other countries from the African continent (including French and Portuguese speaking Africa).
The Kenyan finalists include:
Zipporah Karani – KTN
Charles Kariuki – World Vision Kenya for NTV
Kaara Wainana – NTV
Roseline Wangui – NTV
Francis Mugo Mwangi – freelance for NTV
Boniface Mwangi – freelance for the Star and
Kassim Mohamed – Star FM
The chair of the independent judging panel Joel Kibazo, said that 2010 is a record breaking year due to the increased number of entries, meaning the standards have also been set very high. Entries were received from 975 journalists in 40 countries across the continent.
“I was particularly impressed by the increasing number of journalists that crossed borders in pursuit of stories. The maturing of journalism, across the continent, combined with technological advances, created a greater body of work and made the awards more exciting to judge,” said Kibazo.
Reflecting on the role of the awards, Kibazo added: “The competition is now truly established as a way for African journalists to better their lives. The awards offer a fantastic opportunity to change an individual’s future.”
The winners of the competition will be announced at an award ceremony and gala evening in Kampala, Uganda on May 29. The hosts will be CNN’s Isha Sesay of “Inside Africa” and Dr Ronnie Mich Egwang – a well known Ugandan presenter.
This year’s recipient of the Free Press Africa Award is Mustafa Haji Abdinur, co-founder of SIMBA Radio in Mogadishu and founder of Somali Media for Peace and Development (SOMEPED).
His award comes as a result of the work he does in Somalia which includes a “peace journalism” initiative, which he launched with the help of fellow Somali journalists.
The award is also in recognition of all the journalists in Somalia, who have put their lives at risk telling the story. Nine journalists lost their lives in 2009 whilst fulfilling their professional duties.
The awards ceremony sponsors include Coca-Cola Africa, IPP Media Tanzania, Serena Hotel Kampala – which is the delegate hotel for CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards 2010, Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), NN24 Nigeria, Research In Motion (RIM), The Company behind the Blackberry solution, Safebond Africa Ltd and A24 media.
The finalists will enjoy an all expenses paid five-day programme of workshops, media forums, networking and will also have the opportunity to see some of the sights of Kampala.
CNN encourages, promotes and recognises excellence in journalism at all levels and therefore will always support journalists who represent the future. “I have witnessed the quality and excellence of work in this competition strengthen year on year, and I’m proud that it continues to maintain its place as the most prestigious Pan African awards,” said Tony Maddox, Executive Vice- President and Managing Director of CNN International.