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2013 African Story Challenge Award Finalists Announced

Twenty journalists from across the continent have been shortlisted in the Health theme of the $1 million African Story Challenge Programme. Nairobi, Kenya, December 11, 2013 – Twenty journalists have been shortlisted as finalists in the $1 million African Story Challenge, a programme of reporting grants to encourage innovative, multi-media storytelling that aims to improve the health and prosperity of Africans.                       In all, over 200 entries from across the continent were screened by a technical review panel that evaluated which ideas have the best potential to become top-quality stories on health, the second of five themed categories covered by the challenge. Other contest categories include business and technology.“It’s exciting to see that our competition is attracting top caliber of journalists and a mix of well established media houses, as well as small but influential publications and stations,” said Story Challenge editor, Joseph Warungu. “The range of story ideas proposed is rich and comprehensive and covers health issues that really matter to Africans.”The project encourages journalists to experiment with new content ideas and ways to engage audiences through mobile technology, social media and other innovative tools. It also aims to spur compelling, analytical, investigative and data-driven stories that lead to better policies, increase transparency and hold officials accountable. Finalists will attend a Story Camp in Lagos, Nigeria in January to refine their ideas and learn digital and data journalism tools to enhance their work and ensure maximum impact and public engagement. They also will receive grants and mentoring to complete the projects. After their broadcast or publication, an international panel of editors and media experts will judge the shortlisted twenty stories to select the competition winners.In the first theme of the competition, the three winning entries came from Ghana, South Africa and Kenya.During its two year run, the project will award approximately 100 major reporting grants and provide mentoring to support the best ideas for stories on development issues. Journalists who produce the best stories published or broadcast in media that reach African audiences will win a major international reporting trip.The Story Challenge is a project of theAfrican Media Initiative (AMI), the continent’s largest association of media owners and operators, in partnership with the International Center for Journalists.Warungu, who is AMI’s content development manager, developed the project while an ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellow attached to AMI.The Story Challenge is supported by an $800,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The programme also has support from the African Development Bank and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra).The finalists, in alphabetical order, are:Ajibola Amzat, The Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria Ayenew Haileselassie, Daily Monitor, EthiopiaBivai Idissa, Journal Agricole, Togo Ebrima Sillah, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ghana/SenegalElísio Muchanga, Magazine Independente, MozambiqueEugene Nforngwa, Standard Tribune, CameroonGibbs Dube, VOA Zimbabwe Service, ZimbabweIssakwisa Mwaifuge, Independent Television (ITV), TanzaniaJoy Wanja, Daily Nation, KenyaKerry Cullinan, Health-e News, South AfricaKiprotich Koros, Science Africa, KenyaKolawole Talabi, Rise Networks, NigeriaMongezi Zulu, The Nation Magazine, SwazilandMutale Pamela Kapekele, Zambia Daily Mail, ZambiaOusman Sillah, Foroyaa Newspaper, The GambiaRaymond Baguma, New Vision  Newspaper, UgandaRebbeca Davis, The Daily Maverick, South AfricaSam Makaka, Malawi News Agency, MalawiSelase Kove – Seyram, New Crusading Guide Newspaper, GhanaTsitsi Matope, Lesotho Times, LesothoSpecial Project grants awarded to:Bamutarika Musinguzi, Daily Monitor, UgandaSydney Masinga, Ziwaphi, South AfricaFor more information or to request an interview, kindly contact:Maimouna Jallow

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