Competition Opens For Innovative Health Reporting In Africa

Journalists and editors from around the African continent can benefit from the second round of $1 million story challenge, a pan-African journalism competition on health reporting by African Media Initiative, AMI


The African Story Challenge, an AMI initiative encourages innovative, multi-media storytelling that aims to improve the health and prosperity of Africans.


The competition opens for entries and the theme is Diseases: Prevention and Treatment.


Twenty projects shortlisted for the final prize will be awarded grants of up to $20,000 each to produce health narratives that use innovative journalistic storytelling techniques around the theme of diseases prevention and treatment in Africa.


Grantees who produce the best stories published or broadcast in media that reach African audiences will get a major international reporting trip and additional grant. The winning journalist will also have the opportunity to work with other journalists in a renowned international media establishment anywhere in the world.


Winners of the first round of the grant programme, which opened in May 2013 and focused on agriculture and food security, will be announced later this month. Other themes to be launched next year include business and technology.


Shortlisted stories will focus specifically on issues such as sanitation and water-borne diseases, infectious and non-infectious diseases, neglected diseases, vaccines and immunisation.


Submissions should include investigative, data-driven stories that employ multi-platform approaches and engage the public through social media and other digital tools.

The African Story Challenge advisory council comprising senior journalists and editors will oversee the short listing process.


The finalists will be brought together for intensive sessions to improve their project ideas.


Participants can apply in partnerships but if they win, the prize is to be divided between the team. There can only be one entry per individual or team.


An independent international panel of editors and media experts will judge the entries.


AMI Chief Executive Amadou Mahtar Ba said that it supports innovation in the telling of more and better stories on health and development in Africa and committed to support the media to expand coverage of fundamental issues that matter to Africans and the building of a strong media sector.
A former BBC Africa Editor, AMI content development director and former Knight International Journalism Fellow, Joseph Warungu, also said that the project will preempt journalists from daily routine job.


    “Without good health there is no wealth. This competition is aimed at encouraging journalists and media organisations to break away from the routine issues on the daily agenda and pitch to us bold and creative ideas on health,” said Warungu.

    The story challenge  is a  two-year pan-African project that seeks to challenge the media to expand coverage of fundamental issues that matter to Africans focusing on building a strong media sector able to deliver content that matters to the African public.


    The project is supported by an $800,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Other supporters include African Development Bank, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, AGRA, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, NORAD.


    Click here for information on key dates on submission and deadline.

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