Internews-trained Journalists Win Reporting Awards in Tanzania and Make an Impact in Local Communities

Seven of the 84 journalists who were recognized at the Excellence in Journalism Awards Tanzania 2015, were journalists who had been trained by Internews.

A panel of senior journalists selected by the Media Council of Tanzania judged and awarded print, radio and television stories using a rigorous criteria. The awards were presented on April 29th, 2016.

Emmanuel Kitomari of Kilimanjaro Film Institute from Arusha received three awards for his reporting in the categories of Gender, Reporting on People with Disabilities and Agriculture and Agribusiness.

“Internews trainers made me see that I can get a big story from people who are sometimes ignored, but their stories have public interest,” said Kitomari. His first place in Agriculture and Agribusiness reporting was for a profile he did of a farmer who makes his own pesticide because he cannot afford those made in factories.

Haji Nassor, from Zanzibar Leo Newspaper was participating for the fourth time and had his first big win, taking the award for print journalism on Economic and Business Reporting and coming second in the HIV/AIDS reporting category. “I have been trained by various institutions, but Internews made me see light at the end of the tunnel. After their training they encourage you not only to write, but to do so with impact,” says Nassor who wrote about stigmatization of children whose families are living with HIV/AIDS.

Musa Kinkaya, of Sunrise Radio in Arusha who scooped up the first prize in the Agriculture category for radio reporting says: “Internews gave me confidence to strive for professional standards.” Kinkaya’s story focused on farmers’ concerns in Arusha and Manyara regions, over a local fertilizer that was killing their crops.

Another Internews-trained journalist, Haika Kimaro, published a print story that helped get water to the Madimba residents in the Mtwara region of Tanzania after they had been pleading for 20 years. Her story focused on the death of a boy who was bitten by a snake while looking for water in the bush. She reported on the subsequent installation of water tanks in the village, assuring residents would receive a regular supply. The story took third place in the Good Governance category.

The competition, which is in its 7th year, has seen the number of women winners increase, from 18 in 2014 to 28 in 2015. Two of the seven Internews-trained journalists are women.

Journalist Antony B Massai of Triple A Radio in Arusha won first prize for radio for his entry in the Tourism and Conservation reporting category. Other Internews-trained journalists who took home awards included Salum Vuai Issa, who came first in print in the Agriculture category and Rahma Suleiman, who was first runner-up in the Good Governance reporting category.

“I am preparing more professionally packaged programs this year, thanks to the training and mentoring support provided by Internews,” said an upbeat Kitomari as he left the hall, arms full, clutching his prizes.  

Internews’ work in Tanzania is supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS).