Winnie is an independent journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.
She has worked on development issues for the past four years, contributing to various international media organisations.
Why do you focus on development issues?
Africa in general is going through a development transition and there are many social issues that people are grappling with. For example, information and communications technology (ICT) is an area that is growing so fast but most of the African population knows very little about it. Climatic changes are hitting farmers who are unprepared and they end up losing a lot.
These issues need to be addressed so that people are better informed to make the right choices. I decided to focus on development because this is an area that affects a big part of people's lives yet there is very little information given to them. Another important point is that in Kenya media owners focus more on entertainment and politics rather than information on development, because there is more profit in these areas. Very little attention is being given to development stories and so people are often misinformed or not informed at all.
What would you like to achieve through journalism?
I would like to inform the people in Africa, and Kenya in particular about important development issues. This will help them in choosing the right leaders and holding the leaders accountable, to know their rights and freedoms and to prevent diseases. But my journalism will also give the world the right picture about Africa – many things are said and shown about Africa that are not necessarily true, or are half-truths. I would like to tell the African story as it is with the professionalism it deserves.
How important is journalism for Kenya’s development?
Journalism is very important in Kenya. We have made great leaps in the past five years because the media has been given some freedom and people are better informed now. It is the media that shows citizens of my country whether the government is delivering or not, if there is an outbreak of a disease and what to do in case of a disaster. It is the media that links the policy makers, experts and politicians with the people.