The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) on Tuesday, April 21, announced that it would be paying out at least Ksh500,000 each week to a select group of journalists covering the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, MCK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Omwoyo, explained details of the new program dubbed the Health Reporting Grant, which was launched in collaboration with Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA).
"I am not at liberty to disclose the exact figure availble under the fund, but we will be paying out at least half a million each week to the selected journalists," Omwoyo elaborated.A team of Journalists at Mitihani House during the release of KCPE Results on Monday, November 18, 2019.Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
In a press release shared by the MCK on the same day, the selection criteria was explained in detail.
"The grant which aims to support journalists in their reporting on the Coronavirus disease 19 or COVID-19, will see up to 500 MCK-accredited journalists get the opportunity to apply for grants ranging from Ksh1,000 to Ksh25,000 to facilitate their reporting and coverage of the pandemic in Kenya.
"Succesful applicants will be able to use travel, communications and other related costs in the research, interviewing and compilation processes of their stories," the statement reads in part.
Applications for the first phase of the grant close at midnight on April 30, 2020, following which the applicants will be vetted by a team of experts, with 50 grantees set to be picked each week.
"We are eager to see it that journalists are facilitated to carry out their work in this environment of depressed incomes and economic activity. The media plays a critical role in public health messaging and as such, we want to ensure that we do what we can to facilitate their work for the greater public state," Omwoyo stated.
Also speaking during the launch of the new grant, MCK Head of Media Development and Strategy Victor Bwire, who was tasked with overseeing the entire programme, added that successful applicants would also be taken through virtual training sessions.
"We will go beyond the issuing of grants to also ensuring that some virtual capacity building takes place via online platforms to enable the journalists to improve on their writing and submit health stories that meet a quality mark," he stated.
Omwoyo also outlined that after the first batch of successful applicants, the process would be repeated on a weekly basis.Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi during a press briefing outside Afya House, April 2020.File
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