TUVUKE Initiative Steering Committee and Implementing Partners from Media Engagement Thematic areas respond to questions raised by the media during the launch of the awards.
TUVUKE Initiative 2013 Media Awards sought to recognize and celebrate conflict sensitive and responsible journalism in Kenya. The three-month long process culminated in a colourful media awards gala dinner held on 5th December 2013 in Nairobi. The Media Awards recognized outstanding journalists and citizens who exhibited conflict sensitive reporting and who through their stories, advanced inclusion and acceptance of diversity in Kenya. The awards comprised these categories: Radio, Print, Television, Cartoon, Social Media and Institutional.
TUVUKE Initiative partnered with 6 Television Stations (NTV, KISS TV,KBC, Citizen, QTV, K24); 8 Radio stations (Kameme FM, Inooro FM, Milele FM, Coro FM, Pilipili FM, Mulembe FM, KASS FM, Radio Maisha) and 4 Newspapers (The Nation, The Nairobi Star, The Standard, The People) during the Peace Campaign for Peaceful, Free and Fair 2013 Electoral Process.
The awards were undertaken within the new strategic direction and approach of TUVUKE Initiative in which all activities of TUVUKE Initiative are to be implemented at two levels namely, national and community. National level activities are steered by the respective thematic area group members (in this case, the Media Engagement thematic area) with the support of the Steering Committee and Secretariat. TUVUKE Initiative partnered with the Media Council Kenya as a strategic partner throughout the process, and their invaluable support contributed immensely to the success of these first awards.
A total of 9 journalists and citizens were awarded. In the radio and television categories, three winners were awarded for each. One winner was further awarded in the cartoon entry category while one entry was given special mention/recognition for the institutional and television categories respectively. The winners received capacity building equipment comprising computers, ipads, and cameras to enhance their professional skills.
The Media Awards Initiative comprised the following 4 distinct stages:
(a) Formation of a Media Awards Planning Committee
(b) Launch of the Media Awards
(c) Judging of the Entries
(d) The Awards Gala Dinner Event
Formation of the Media Awards Planning Committee: This committee comprised the five Implementing partners within the Media Engagement thematic area, namely, Twaweza Communications, African Woman and Child Feature Service (AWC), Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) and Go-Sheng Services. The Media Thematic Committee worked closely with the Media Council to achieve the highest possible support and interest from stakeholders in the sector.
Launch of the Awards: The Awards were launched on Friday 25th October, 2013, during a breakfast meeting at the Laico Hotel, Nairobi. The event was attended by 10 media houses and was instrumental in facilitating dialogue with journalists and editors on the purpose of the awards and the awards criteria. The awards, as clarified during the launch, targeted all journalists and ordinary Kenyans who made a contribution towards peaceful and fair electoral processes in Kenya before, during and after 2013 electoral process. In addition, such contribution (articles/journalistic pieces) would have been published or broadcast between 1st December 2012 and 31st May 2013.
As a way of determining that the journalists are consistently practicing conflict sensitive and responsible reporting, each journalist making entry was expected to upload between two to four articles. The entry process was largely digital, through the TUVUKE Initiative website. However, provisions were made for those from the regions to deposit their entries at identified offices of the platform co-ordinating institution, Kenya Women Holding.
Judging Process: The judging process was undertaken in two phases: Initial Nominations and the actual Judging Retreat. The nominations team comprised of 3 media professionals, a TV and film production researcher, overally coordinated by a media and communication consultant. The nomination teams assessed a total of 104 entries, submitted by 13 female and 30 male entrants. The Judges Retreat was held between 20th and 23rd November 2013 at Maanzoni Lodge.
From the onset, the Media Engagement Thematic group recognized that the quality of judges was key to determining the profile of the awards within the sector. Hence every effort was made in putting together a high calibre team of judges to serve in this inaugural event. The five judges, who have served in leading media awards judging processes within Kenya and globally, commended TUVUKE Initiative for identifying conflict sensitive reporting as a key area of growth within the Kenyan media sector. While recognizing the impressive interest exhibited by journalists and ordinary citizens from diverse areas regions such as Turkana, Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa, the judges noted gaps in the handling of content, preparation and submission of entries for these awards and recommended as follows:-
a) Journalists ought to have in mind that there are consequences to their actions on how they cover a story on conflict. The conflict affects two or more sides and it is important to contextualise the conflict.
b) There is need for journalists placed in national and community media stations to listen/watch and learn conflict reporting from colleagues who have more experience and exposure to the subject of conflict reporting.
c) Media houses seem not to allocate resources for journalists to return to conflict story spots to do follow up stories or cover all sides to a conflict. This leaves conflict stories incomplete.
TUVUKE Initiative Gala Awards Dinner; The Awards Gala Dinner held on 5th December 2013 was graced by Dr. Fred Matiang'i, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology. 170 stakeholders from the media and civil society sector joined in the event demonstrating the various partnerships that TUVUKE Initiative has developed since inception.In his speech, Dr. Matiang'i encouraged journalists to focus on emerging areas of reporting emanating from the ongoing implementation of a new constitutional dispensation and the existing county devolution units. As part of their contribution to Kenya's broader development agenda, he urged the media to take up these new reporting frontiers and generate content that can inspire national development, peace and communal harmony.
The Minister also underpinned some of the broad and bold steps being spearheaded within the Ministry to ensure that Kenya continues to be the pace setter in matters ICT. One such stop is the process of digital migration is key in opening up the spectrum and creating more frontiers for more media diversity and plurality of views and opinions.