THREE exceptionally talented young newspaper journalists in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have been selected for the David Astor Journalism Awards programme, which provides professional development opportunities and long-term career support, according to a media release from the programme.
The award winners are: Alex Kiprotich, 27, at The Standard in Kenya; Jiang Alipo, 28, at
The Daily News in Tanzania; and Raymond Baguma, 29, at The New Vision in Uganda.
They will now join six previous award winners in an expanding regional network of the most
promising next-generation leading journalists in East Africa.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThese three young journalists possess qualities that clearly mark them out for future leading
roles in the profession ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ evident talent, determination and commitment,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Jim Meyer,
Executive Director of The David Astor Journalism Awards Trust (DAJAT). ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe look forward
to seeing them grow and fulfil their very considerable potential.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
DAJAT is a London-based human rights charity that aims to promote, strengthen and
support independent journalism in Africa by investing in early-career print journalists with
the greatest potential to excel in the profession.
Each award winner will initially take part in a three-month professional development
programme tailored to their particular interests, involving attachments with newspapers in
the UK or South Africa, and then become a career-long member of the David Astor
Journalism Awards peer-support network, with links to media professionals and other
organisations regionally and abroad. In addition, they each received a nominal cash award
This yearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s winners were selected from a field of 35 locally nominated candidates through a
rigorous review and assessment process spanning nine months. Three independent judges
The David Astor Journalism Awards Trust
from the United States, South Africa and the UK chose the winners after interviewing three
finalists each in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Kampala last week.
The judges were: William Carmichael, former head of the Ford FoundationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Africa Program
and long-time adviser to Human Rights Watch; Paula Fray, Africa Regional Director of the
global development news agency Inter Press Service and former Editor of The Saturday Star
in Johannesburg; and Michael Holman, Africa Editor at The Financial Times in London
from 1984 to 2002.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe were immensely impressed by the talent and enthusiasm of the candidates we
interviewed,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â the judges said in a joint statement. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe three winners clearly have
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTogether with the six previous winners, they will not only make a very significant
contribution to journalism in East Africa, but also reinforce the values of integrity David
Astor stood for,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â the judges said.
The late David Astor was distinguished Editor of The Observer newspaper in London for 27
years, from 1948 to 1975, and a lifelong champion of African development and human rights.
In a statement endorsing the awards programme, Nelson Mandela called it ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œa fitting and
meaningful wayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â to honour ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œone of the best and most loyal friendsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â who vigorously
supported the anti-apartheid struggle and South African democracy.
The candidate-selection process began in May 2009. All news media houses in the three
countries were invited to nominate one candidate each for consideration. Other nominators
included local journalistsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ associations, other media-related groups, journalism lecturers and
trainers, civil society organisations, and former editors.
There were no age, educational or minimum work experience requirements but candidates
were expected to be at an early stage in their career and had to meet certain key criteria,
including solid commitment to the profession, continuing to work in Africa as their longterm
career goal, and maintaining the highest ethical standards.
In addition, candidates had to show some special talent and flair for journalism, and
requisite qualities to succeed in the profession, such as critical thinking, courage,
determination and drive.
Written applications from all of the nominees were reviewed, along with examples of their
published work. Interviews were conducted last September with 10 short-listed candidates
in Kenya, seven in Tanzania, and 11 in Uganda. Further opinions of the candidates were then
sought from nominators, employers and others, after which three finalists in each country
The two runners up in Kenya were Kamore Maina at The Star and Kipchumba Some at The
Standard; in Tanzania, Orton Kiishweko at The Daily News and Sayuni Kimaro at The
Guardian; and in Uganda, Paul Amoru and Yasiin Mugerwa, both at The Daily Monitor.
They each received a nominal cash award of $250.
Established in 2006, The David Astor Journalism Awards Trust is a UK-registered human
rights charity and an approved tax-exempt organisation in the US. The TrustÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s founding
Patrons are Lord Joel Joffe and Lord Dennis Stevenson of Coddenham. Its overall objective
is to build journalistic capacity in Africa to defend human rights, promote good governance
and further socio-political development.
The 2008 and 2009 award winners were: Murithi Mutiga at The Sunday Nation and Jillo
Kadida at The Daily Nation in Kenya; Valentine Marc Nkwame at The Daily News and Erick
Kabendera at The Guardian in Tanzania; and Tabu Butagira at The Daily Monitor and
Barbara Among at The New Vision in Uganda.
DAJAT will convene a weekend network meeting in Nairobi with this yearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s award winners
and the previous six at the end of March.
For more information contact:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7424 0049