South African Wins Continental Health Reporting Contest

Rebecca Davis, of South African daily online newspaper, Daily Maverick, has emerged winner of the African Story Challenge Health Reporting competition.

Davis won the top prize for her Story “Coughing up for Gold” which provides an in-depth look at the toll mining has taken on the health of former South African mine workers who suffer various lung diseases, and their fight for compensation.

Announcing the winner at an award ceremony in Mauritius, the African Story Challenge Editor, Joseph Warungu, said the health cycle was very competitive and the themes covered were rich and diverse.

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“We are excited to see more good quality investigative and well told multi-media stories continue to emerge from journalists who have gone through the Story Challenge programme,” he said.

Clinching second place was Kerry Cullinan of Health e- News Service in South Africa, with her story – “Shots in the Dark? Vaccinations in South Africa” which beamed searchlight into childhood vaccines in South Africa.

In third place was Cameroonian journalist Eugene Nforngwa of the Standard Tribune. He told the story of how poor infrastructure is keeping heart patients from accessing much needed care.

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Altogether, 20 finalists were selected out of more than 200 story ideas entered in the competition, and each received grants and underwent training that helped them produce compelling multi-media stories.

Out of the 20 excellent stories produced, Coughing up for Gold was selected as the winning entry by a panel of independent judges.

“You could sense that the author had really spent much time on this story, conceptualizing, planning and executing. It was evident that the grant allowed the journalist to experiment and do things differently. The story was engaging, well told and flawless in its presentation. A worthy winner,” chairman of the judges panel and group publisher of IC publications, Omar Ben Yedder, remarked.

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Rebecca Davis wins a fully sponsored international reporting trip, while the runners-up walk away with high-tech gadgets for use in their daily reporting work.

The African Story Challenge is a project of the African Media Initiative (AMI), the continent’s largest association of media owners and operators, in partnership with the International Center for Journalists.

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