South African journalist Rebecca Davis has won the African Story Challenge Health Reporting competition. The Daily Maverick’s Davis took the top prize for her Story Coughing up for Gold, an in-depth look at the toll mining has taken on the health of former South African mine workers who suffer various lung diseases, and their fight for compensation.
Kerry Cullinan of Health e- News Service in South Africa came second. Her story Shots in the Dark? Vaccinations in South Africa was an investigation into childhood vaccines in South Africa. In third place was Cameroonian journalist Eugene Nforngwa of the Standard Tribune. He told the story of how poor infrastructure is keeping heart patients from accessing much needed care.
Out of more than 200 story ideas entered in the competition, 20 finalists were selected by a technical review panel to receive grants and undergo training that helped them produce compelling multi-media stories.
“You could sense that the author had really spent much time on this story, conceptualizing, planning and executing,” said Omar Ben Yedder, chair of the judges panel and group publisher of IC publications. “It was evident that the grant allowed the journalist to experiment and do things differently. The story was engaging, well told and flawless in its presentation. A worthy winner,” he said of Davis’ investigation.
African Story Challenge Editor Joseph Warungu said the health cycle was very competitive and the themes covered were rich and diverse. “We are excited to see more good quality investigative and well told multi-media stories continue to emerge from journalists who have gone through the Story Challenge programme,” he said.
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