Nation Journalists Scoop 2015 David Astor Award
Three exceptionally promising young journalists from Kenya and Uganda have been selected for the 2015 David Astor Journalism Awards programme, which promotes and supports emerging journalistic talent in east Africa.
The winners are Jacqueline Kubania, 25, a reporter for the Daily Nation in Nairobi; Solomon Arinaitwe, 25, a political reporter at the Daily Monitor in Kampala; and Gloria Nakajubi, 27, a features writer with The New Vision in Kampala.
Three judges independently selected them for their evident talent, integrity, and long-term commitment to African journalism, and displaying the requisite qualities to excel in the profession, after a rigorous six-month review and assessment of 40 locally nominated candidates.
They now join 16 previous award winners from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as career-long members of an expanding professional network representing the next generation of leading journalists in the region, supported by The David Astor Journalism Awards Trust, a UK-based charity.
“With their already considerable abilities and determination, these outstanding, high potential young journalists are clearly marked out for future leading roles in African journalism,” said Jim Meyer, the Trust’s Executive Director.
“We are delighted to have the chance now at this formative stage to invest in and support their career development.”
Later this year, they will undertake work experience attachments with newspapers in the UK and South Africa, each lasting six weeks, which will offer them exposure to different news reporting environments and opportunities to expand their professional capabilities.
They will also join the other members of the David Astor Award Winners’ Network for the group’s annual three-day meeting in Uganda at the end of March.
The David Astor Journalism Awards Trust Each winner received a nominal cash award of $500 from the Joffe Charitable Trust.
Two British judges and a previous David Astor Award winner individually interviewed three finalists in Nairobi on 31st January and four finalists in Kampala on 2nd February to choose the winners.
Patience Akumu, the 2013 Ugandan award winner who is now an international freelancer, along with Michael Holman, former Africa Editor of the Financial Times, and Oliver Wright, current Whitehall Editor of The Independent, did the judging in Kenya.
Taking Akumu’s place on the panel for Uganda was 2008 Kenyan award winner Murithi Mutiga, also now a local and international freelancer.
The candidate-selection process began in May 2014 when media houses, local journalists’ associations, journalism trainers, media and civil society organisations, and David Astor Network members were invited to nominate one candidate each.
After reviewing written applications from the nominees and examples of their work, 11 shortlisted candidates in Kenya and 14 in Uganda were interviewed in September and October.
Second-opinion interviews were then conducted with the candidates’ nominators, employers, and other local sources before choosing the finalists.
The runners-up were Christine Mungai from Mail & Guardian Africa and Frankline Sunday from The Standard in Kenya; and Emmanuel Ainebyoona and Frederic Musisi from the Daily Monitor in Uganda. They each received $250.
The David Astor Journalism Awards Trust was founded in 2006 to promote, strengthen and support independent journalism in Africa.
It honours the late, distinguished editor of The Observer newspaper in London from 1948 to 1975, who was a lifelong champion of African development, human rights, and other social justice causes. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is Patron of the Trust.
SABMiller plc and Tullow Oil plc are principal sponsors of the awards this year.