Community Journalism

What is Community Journalism?

Community Journalism is when everyday people collect, analyze, and share news and personal stories about health and rights. Community journalists connect with mainstream media representatives to publish their stories on radio, TV, and print media to reach far and wide.

In 2020, White Ribbon Alliance Kenya engaged a multi-sectoral coalition of approximately 40 organizations, with partners
drawn from grassroots, youth, women’s rights and international non-governmental organization, to launch Deliver for Good Kenya (DFG-Kenya) – a multi-year advocacy campaign bringing together diverse stakeholders to drive progress toward gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals. Through a comprehensive policy mapping exercise, the national advocacy strategy was co-developed and an advisory council constituted to convene and lead respective policy investment areas. WRA Kenya was tasked to coordinate advocacy on sexual and reproductive health services to achieve universal health coverage with an emphasis on adolescents’ enjoyment of their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

At the subnational level, WRA Kenya mobilized and organized a diverse network of youth groups in Narok County into a coordinated youth accountability network and strengthened their advocacy and communication capacities to push for the implementation of the National Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Policy (NASRHP) as it relates to establishing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and aligned to universal health principles. Community journalism, a social accountability approach was applied to collect, shape and elevate stories from adolescent girls’ and young women’s experiences with the local health system.
Community journalism is when everyday people collect, analyze, and share news and personal stories about health and rights.

Community journalists connect with mainstream media representatives to publish their stories on radio, TV, and print media to reach far and wide. Community journalism helps people’s powerful stories be heard or seen by a wide audience to inspire change. This includes duty-bearers and decision-makers that communities are trying to influence. Community Journalism is also a way to increase community members’ confidence in telling and sharing personal stories that may be emotional or hard to talk
about.

In 2021, trained community journalists in Narok successfully collected adolescent girls’ and young women’s self-expressed sexual and reproductive health needs. They presented these priorities to local health decision- makers and leveraged established media relationships to compel action. As a result, commitments linked to the NASRHP implementations were secured. Particularly, actions to ensure improvement of youth- friendly centers and the incorporation of comprehensive health education in the school programmes directly benefiting over 600 adolescents engaged in the campaign. Additionally, 3 members of the Youth Accountability Network (including citizen journalists, young parliamentarians, youth advocates and peer-educators) were selected to join the County Youth Sector Working Group and End Teenage Pregnancy Task Force to amplify advocacy and social accountability efforts beyond the campaign.

Why is Community Journalism important?

Community Journalism helps people’s powerful stories be heard or seen by a wide audience to inspire change. This includes duty-bearers and decision makers that you are trying to influence in your Community Action Plan. Community Journalism is also a way to increase community members’ confidence in telling and sharing personal stories that may be emotional or hard to talk about. Community Journalism is easier than ever given the development of various Internet platforms. New media technology, such as social media platforms and media-sharing websites, in addition to the increasing availability of cell phones, have made Community Journalism more accessible to people wherever they are in the world.

How to become a Community Journalist?

There are three key steps to Community Journalism.

1. Identify and gather a compelling and accurate story.
2. Create media relationships.
3. Develop and publish your piece.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Op-ed Outline