The Action for Transparency (A4T) team was represented at the 2018 Annual Media Summit and Annual Journalism Excellence Awards (AJEA) held from 1st to 3rd August 2018 in Nairobi. The Annual Media Summit is a meeting of media practitioners and other stakeholders designed to deliberate on pertinent issues affecting the sector, organised by the Media Council of Kenya. This year’s theme: Media & the Big Four Agenda anchors the role of the media in not only promoting robust public debate on the Agenda, but also encouraging the sharing of ideas and holding its implementers to account.
The Media Council of Kenya also runs the Annual Journalism Excellence Awards (AJEA) in May each year. The awards recognise excellence in journalism, encourage professionalism in the practices of journalism as provided for by the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya and inspire Development Journalism in Kenya in respect to Vision 2030. The journalism awards encourage journalists to excel and adopt a professional style that is acutely conscious of its role as an agent of change and development in the country.
Transparency International Kenya through the A4T project supported the Good Governance Reporting Award during the 2018 Annual Journalism Excellence Awards (AJEA) held on 3rd August 2018 in Nairobi. John Kamau of the Daily Nation won the Print Category while Wellingtone Nyongesa of Radio Maisha bagged the Radio category. The TV Category went to NTV’s Andrew Ochieng.
The Good Governance Reporting Award is geared towards upholding the fight against graft, promotion of the rule of law, ethical practices and national cohesion in matters of governance. The articles/stories entered in this category exhibit professionalism and inclination to promote national values as provided for by the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity.
TI-Kenya’s Executive Director Samuel Kimeu noted that the media is one important player in the fight against corruption whose role should not be underestimated.
“As a watchdog, the media plays an important role in ensuring that the country’s resources are well managed and utilized. We therefore urge the media to keep the anti-corruption campaign alive by highlighting the loopholes used by the corrupt and the damage caused to our society,” said Kimeu.
According to Media Council’s Deputy CEO and Programs Manager Victor Bwire, the Good Governance Reporting is key because it fosters transparency and accountability in the use and management of public resources.
“Good governance is cornerstone of the watchdog role of the media,” said Bwire.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, who was the Chief Guest at the awards, celebrated the two reporters who uncovered bribery in the House describing them as brave. It had earlier been reported that the journalists were summoned to appear before parliament over the expose but the Speaker confirmed otherwise.
Hon. Muturi cautioned Members of Parliament against their obsession with “summoning” individuals noting that such powers should be used sparingly and only when necessary. He noted that corruption has led to loss of credibility in both MPs and journalists and called for the need to deal with the vice.
The A4T project continues to empower Journalists primarily in Nairobi County to actively counteract corruption and mismanagement of public funds. Engagement with journalists under the A4T project has been achieved through: Media Forums where journalists are provided with a platform to discuss and share ideas on issues affecting effective reporting especially on corruption in the Education and Health sectors; and, capacity building for journalists mainly on investigative and data journalism. It is hoped that these interventions will result in an increase in the level of interest and quality of stories on accountability issues affecting the Education and Health sectors.