Violet Otindo is a television producer and reporter with Citizen TV and chair of Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture Association (MESHA). She is an award-winning journalist, taking home the CNN/Multichoice 2009 Environment Award, and the SJCOOP Science Reporting Fellowship for 2010-12. In addition, she is one of Internews in Kenya’s health fellows, as well as Health Story-teller of the year.
She was trained in health journalism and sponsored by Internews to travel to Washington DC to attend and report on the AIDS 2012 conference.
Violet explains that as the media is still a major preventive tool in public health, it is very important for her to attend this conference. “I am going with an open mind, to network, to understand even better the issues related to HIV, to gain new insights into funding challenges, and to learn how I can report on the virus from a new and fresh perspective,” she says.
“Most newsrooms have not been able to send journalists to the conference,” she notes, explaining how important it is to be given this support by Internews. “There are so many topical issues in Kenya that I can cover at the conference, such as voluntary male circumcision for instance, what to do when people become resistant to treatment – all important issues for the public and our news audience. And I will get to actually interview key people there, one-on-one. This is not always possible [at home].”