Three journalists from Kenya have won the Violence Against Children Reporting 2022 Contest, signalling the new heights that the country's media sector has scaled.
Ian Wafula (British Broadcasting Corporation), Sharon Baranga (TV 47) and Leon Lidigu (Nation Media Group) emerged top out of over 50 entries submitted from across the globe.
In line with the competition's guidelines, the first place winners will receive a cash prize of Ksh122, 200 (USD$1,000), the second place will receive Ksh91,650 (USD$750) and the third place will get Ksh 61,100 (USD$500).
"The winning entries shed light on this under-reported topic, with coverage that is careful, human-centric, and solutions-oriented," stated Aliza Appelbaum, ICFJ’s deputy vice president of programs.
BBC's Wafula won position one with the "Corporal trauma documentary".
In his documentary, he explored the effects of corporal punishment on children in schools. In particular, he highlighted the resulting trauma and also featured his former classmates in the documentary.
Sharon Baranga, a senior reporter at TV 47, scooped the runner's up position with her "Child maltreatment documentary" which entailed different forms of child abuse.
While Nation Media Group's health reporter (NMG) Leon Lidigu was in position three with his article titled "Away with ARVs; I just want to die".
In his article, Lidigu focused on the plight of a 16-year-old teenager living with HIV in the Kibera slums. Due to the painful side effects of the drugs, stigma, and financial burden, she contemplated ending her life on numerous occasions.
Lidigu also covered the 'silent pandemic' of HIV-positive individuals who gave up on taking antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).
The contest was in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Additionally, the contest is designed to increase the quality and quantity of news coverage on violence against children across the world.
"Reporting on violence against children is critically important, and it requires great care and professionalism," Appelbaum added.
Other winning entries were from Colombia and the Philippines.
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