Balanced Reporting Promotes Agri-biotech Acceptance in KenyaOctober 2, 2019
Credible media reporting has been hailed for improving public attitude and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology in Kenya. This was during a science journalism award ceremony held on September 26, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. Hosted by the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) Kenya chapter, the annual competition awarded journalists who have been passionate in reporting on innovative biotechnologies for national development.
Harry Kimtai, Principal Secretary at the State Department for Livestock emphasized that enhancing public understanding and acceptance of science, technology, and innovation is crucial in the transformation of Kenya's developmental agenda. "Agricultural biotechnology offers a great option in developing climate resilient crops for food and feed production," he added. Hon. Dr. Wilberforce Oundo, Kenya Member of Parliament reiterated that journalists owe it to the public to deliver balanced stories with information that is supported by scientific evidence. "More so, the media bears a solemn obligation to flag any policy contradictions stifling progress to the detriment of socio-economic development," he added.
The 2019 Award winner, Verenardo Meeme urged his fellow journalists to strive for more and accurate science reporting, observing that the media is an important linkage between research and its target beneficiaries.The second position was taken by Gabriel Kudaka of Nation Media Group while the third place went to Ruth Keah of Radio Rahma. All submitted entries were evaluated by an independent panel of judges on the basis of scientific accuracy, originality, clarity of interpretation, initiative and value in fostering a better public understanding of agricultural biotechnology and its impact on the society.
Attended by over 150 participants, the award ceremony brought together science journalists, researchers and policy makers in recognizing journalistic excellence in agricultural biotechnology. OFAB Kenya 3rd annual media award was organized in collaboration with African Agricultural Technology Foundation, National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization.
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