Mary Mwendwa, a journalist with Talk Africa in Kenya, poses in the training room. Photo credit: Aijuka Andrew

JRS Awards InfoNile’s Cascading Impacts of Data-Driven Journalism

Based on the stellar performance of InfoNile’s 11-country journalist network over the past three years, JRS has awarded a $350,000 accomplishment-based renewal grant. InfoNile, implemented by Water Journalists Africa.  Further JRS support will extend impactful training events, sponsor public debates, pair journalists with scientists, and ensure impactful reporting and online youth engagement through 2025.  

The Rivers and Biodiversity Workshop 2022 brought together 16 reporters and editors from 10 Nile Basin countries for extensive training on how to improve their skills when investigating freshwater biodiversity stories concerning rivers. The team visited the Mabamba swamp on Lake Victoria. Photo credit: Fredrick Mugira

A recent story evaluation detailed significant policy impacts achieved by the network’s reporters, and confirmed that InfoNile journalists have reached hundreds of thousands of readers, viewers and listeners along the entire length of the Nile Basin from Egypt to Burundi.  They have advanced biodiversity policy by making sure that sound science and field data are in print and on the air waves to compel action by local and regional decision-makers.

Some of the impacts achieved by InfoNile journalists include the investigation of government compliance with environmental laws, policy changes and civil society actions. Journalist interviews with scientists resulted in greatly expanded speaking opportunities and increased media coverage of biodiversity issues.  InfoNile has also pointed to expanded awareness feedback resulting in changes in attitude, increased knowledge and engagement with social network influencers. Professional training seminars and field trips have also been used by InfoNile to build skills and expand science-based reporting.

InfoNile detailed their many recent events in an October email news blast, including:

In partnership with the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change we organised a hybrid documentary screening event on Climate Change on Wednesday 26th October 2022 from 3.00 PM to 6.00 PM EAT at the MCI Media Hub in Kabalagala, Kampala.

This pre-COP event entailed documentary screenings highlighting East African climate innovators, climate change photography exhibitions by InfoNile and featured photos by Miriam Watsemba, Stuart Tibaweswa, and Anthony Ochieng a.k.a “Tony Wild” as well as pre-COP strategic discussions with youth innovators.

We also had a panel discussion following the documentary screenings on “Storytelling for Climate Solutions: How can communicators amplify grassroots climate innovators in Eastern Africa?” 

Read more about Water Journalists Africa and the InfoNile Grant here.