| Richard Ryaganda
UMATI Executive Director Ms. Suzana Mkanzabi receiving an appreciation certificate from EJAT’s Guest of Honor, Hon. Amb. Ombeni Sefue.
As the fourth estate, journalism plays a crucial role in shaping the community’s narrative on pertinent issues, including sexual and reproductive health (SRH).
Over the years, UMATI has been dedicated to capacitating journalists, empowering them to report more effectively, with greater analysis, and educative stories on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This year’s EJAT marks the first awards to include a category specifically dedicated to recognizing excellence in reporting on SRHR.
In the past, journalists focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights have received limited recognition, as SRH was often considered solely as a health issue, leading them to compete in generic health categories that encompass various health-related topics. However, UMATI applauds the Media Council of Tanzania (MCL) for recognizing the significance of sexual and reproductive health reporting and taking the initiative to establish a distinct award category in this crucial area for the first time during these prestigious media awards in Tanzania.
UMATI’s Executive Director, Suzana Mkanzabi, expressed her belief that this recognition is just the beginning of positive changes to come, particularly for journalists reporting on SRHR matters. She emphasized that such recognition will elevate the quality of stories published and broadcasted by journalists, and it will also serve as a motivation for other journalists to delve into and write about this important subject matter.
During the Excellence in Journalism Awards Tanzania (EJAT) ceremony that took place last Saturday at Mlimani City, Dar es Salaam and graced by former Chief Secretary of State, His Excellency Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, and organized by the Media Council of Tanzania, UMATI’s significant efforts in supporting journalism in the SRH category were acknowledged and celebrated.
Among the noteworthy awardees, Tido Muhando, Group Chief Executive Director for Azam media, received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award (LAJA). Additionally, Philip Mwihava from Clouds FM and Hellen Nachilongo from the Citizen both emerged as first runners-up in their respective nominations as representatives in the SRH category.
The recognition and appreciation of journalists’ dedication and outstanding work in the field of SRHR reporting are vital steps towards fostering greater public awareness and understanding of sexual and reproductive health and rights in Tanzania and beyond. UMATI looks forward to continued collaboration with media professionals and organizations to promote informed, sensitive, and impactful reporting on SRHR topics.