KTN’s feature reporter is among the 12 finalists nominated for the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award 2020, and the only East African.
Mr Otieno, one of the youngest reporters at KTN, was nominated for his story that revealed the sorry states of street children following the outbreak of Covid-19 and implementation of lockdowns.
“I was very very elated. It’s a great honour for someone’s work to be recognized globally. But more importantly, I’m happy that the nomination has attributed to the great wuatlity of journalism that is still present in East Africa and in Kenya particularly. I’m one among only 4 other Africans among the 12 shortlisted nominees and the only one from East Africa… which I consider a great honour,” he told Kahawa Tungu.
Just 24 hours after Mr Otieno’s story aired,President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a directive that saw the street families featured in the report taken to a government rescue facility.
“The nomination helps bring to the fore the quality of work I do as opposed to just shining a spotlight on my persona. I did a story about street kids suffering during covid-19 and the president issues a directive to have the kids rescued. The nomination goes a long way in spreading the narrative to an international platform,” he added.
Other journalists who have been nominated for the award include Eman Mounir (Egypt), Alaa Nassar (Syria), Rafael Soares (Brazil), Dmytro Replianchyk (Ukraine), Ahmad Al Bazz (Palestine) and Kapil Kajal (India).
Others include Anna Myroniuk (Ukraine), Ibrahim Adeyemi (Nigeria), Martín Camacho (Peru), Kabir Adejumo (Nigeria) and Taiwo Adebayo (Nigeria).
The nominees will all receive a certificate from Thomson Foundation commending them on the high standard of their work, and will have the opportunity to participate in the foundation’s digital learning platform, Journalism Now.
The shortlist will be judged by an international judging panel selected by the FPA, which this year hails from Italy, India and Poland.
The three Young Journalist finalists will be announced in October and the overall winner will be decided by external judges, British investigative journalist, Seyi Rhodes, contributing editor of the Financial Times, John Lloyd, and former editor of the BBC Today programme, Sarah Sands.