With our President almost back from the begging mission in USA, Kenyan media is now looking West hoping to cement their credibility through awards organised by a Western media empire. Seven Kenyan journalists are waiting with bated breath for the day CNN will crown them winners in the annual CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Competition.
The award has meant everything for the struggling journalists who are rarely recognised at home or by the Chinese who Kenyan government officials worship all the time.
The competition which has been running for 19 years saw entries 38 countries across the rich continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.
There are 28 finalists from 10 countries:
- Patrick Mayoyo, Daily Nation, Kenya
- Joseph Mathenge, Freelance for The Saturday Nation, Kenya
- Anne Mawathe & Rashid Ibrahim, Citizen TV, Kenya
- Christine Muthee & Oliver Oscar Ochanda, Media Development in Africa (MEDEVA), Kenya
- John Muchangi Njiru, The Star Newspaper, Kenya
- Bob Koigi, Farmbizafrica.com, Kenya
- Evelyn Watta, Sportsnewsarena.com, Kenya
- Daniel Biaou Adje, ORTB, Benin
- Safia Berkouk, El Watan, Algeria
- Vinayak Bhardwaj & Tabelo Timse, M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, Mail & Guardian, South Africa
- Romão Brandão, Jornal OPAÍS, Angola
- Sean Christie, Freelance for Landbouweekblad and The Mail & Guardian, South Africa
- Obinna Emelike, Business Day, Nigeria
- Ben Ezeamalu & Emmanuel Ogala, Premium Times, Nigeria
- Dickson Ng’hily, The Guardian, Tanzania
- Olatunji Ololade, The Nation Newspaper, Nigeria
- Bayo Olupohunda, Columnist, Punch Newspaper, Nigeria
- Ossène Ouattara, Infoduzanzan.com, Côte d’Ivoire
- Brito Simango, Televisão de Moçambique, Moçambique
- Joy Summers & Susan Comrie, Mnet Carte Blanche, South Africa
- Suy Kahofi, Freelance for West Africa Democracy Radio, Senegal
- Paballo Thekiso, Saturday Star, South Africa
- Bento Venancio, Jornal Domingo, Moçambique
CNN has been variously accused by many Africans and their leaders of misreporting the continent for eyeballs. Some leaders have likened it to an imperialist tool which is not balanced and fair. It is always surprising to see the same Africans line up desperately for an award from the TIME Warner owned channel.
The “independent judging panel” will be chaired by Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief, City Press, South Africa and includes: Debo Adesina, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Newspapers, Nigeria; Betty Dindi, Managing Editor of QTV, Nation Media Group, Kenya; Jean-Paul Gérouard, Editor-in-Chief, France Télévisions ; Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Joel Kibazo, Director of Communications, Africa Development Bank; Arlindo Lopes, Regional Regulatory GM, MultiChoice Angola; Amadou Mahtar Ba, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, AllAfrica Global Media; Kim Norgaard, CNN Africa Bureau Chief; Aires Walter dos Santos, Account Executive, iSenta Comunicação & Imagem SA, Angola.
Other sponsors the competition are; The Coca-Cola Company; Ecobank; GE Africa; IPP Media, Tanzania; Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) and A24 Media.
Despite Nation Media and Standard Group dwarfing the likes of IPP media in the region, you will never find them supporting initiatives which are meant to support the growth of the local media as they fight for State House adverts.
The finalists will enjoy an all-expense paid four day programme of workshops, media forums and networking in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania culminating in a Gala Award Ceremony on Saturday 18 October 2014.
The host for the evening is CNN International anchor and correspondent Isha Sesay, host of ‘CNN NewsCenter’.
Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International said: “I have witnessed the quality and excellence of work in this competition strengthen year on year, and am proud that it continues to maintain its place as the most prestigious Pan African journalist awards. Just as CNN encourages, promotes and recognises excellence in journalism at all levels, we are particularly pleased to be able to support journalists who represent our future.”
Nico Meyer, CEO MultiChoice Africa said: “MultiChoice Africa congratulates all finalists and thanks our esteemed panel of judges for taking time to select the very best of African journalism. As a company born and bred in Africa we have an unmatched passion for the continent and believe in making long term and sustainable invests in order to enable development and to create a meaningful legacy in the countries in which we operate. These awards demonstrate CNN’s and MultiChoice’s commitment to the development of media in Africa, Meyer said – and this is a very special year as we celebrate our 10th year of our partnership.”
Imtiaz Patel, Group CEO of MultiChoice South Africa said: “As a long-time partner to CNN in these awards, we know the prestige that comes with being a finalist. I would therefore like to extend our best wishes to the finalists – thank you for telling the stories of Africa. We look forward to celebrating your journalistic excellence at the awards in October.”