Nation Media Group journalists had a strong showing at this year’s journalism awards by winning in nine of the 14 categories set by the Media Council of Kenya.
Of the 40 winners announced at the Annual Journalism Excellence Awards (Ajea) in Nairobi on Wednesday night, 14 were NMG journalists from its print and broadcast divisions.
No other media house managed more than eight winners.
MCK feted print and broadcast journalists separately in most categories of the awards, now in their sixth year.
In the print section, Daily Nation journalists Leopold Obi, Eunice Kilonzo, Verah Okeyo, Angela Oketch, Phoebe Okall and cartoonist Michael Munene took the crown.
Mr Obi was the first on the podium for the Development Reporting Award in the print category for a DN2 story on fishing in Lamu.
Ms Kilonzo followed in the ICT and Telecommunications Reporting Award for her story in Healthy Nation about the hazards of smartphones.
Ms Okeyo shone in environment reporting for an article on the role of bees in the survival of mankind.
Ms Angela Oketch’s story in the Business Daily on the lack of the uterine balloon tamponade to stop bleeding among new mothers won her the health reporting award.
Nation photojournalist Phoebe Okall’s spectacular images from various parts of the country not only drew applause at The Intercontinental Hotel but also won her the Photojournalist of the Year Award.
Equally cheered by the hundreds of people at the gala was NMG cartoonist Michael Munene, whose images were displayed on the screens as he walked to the dais to receive the Cartoonist of the Year Award.
In the broadcast category, a number of NTV journalists bagged the top prize.
Mr Andrew Ochieng and Mr Robert Gichira won in the gender reporting category while Mr Dennis Okari and Mr Eric Isinta took the sports award thanks to an investigative project about the swindling of Kenyan athletes.
Ms Zeynab Wandati and Mr Robert Gichira topped business reporting for a story about what ails Kenya’s sugar industry.
Mr Vincent Achuka, who has since left NMG, won the gender reporting award for a Sunday Nation story on the plight of children of jailed mothers.
Another former NMG journalist who scooped an award was Isaac Swila, who came tops in the sports reporting category for a Daily Nation story about the Kenyan Premier League.
Nation Media Group Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi praised the winners.
“Both our NTV Kenya and print journalists swept the deck and stamped their authority and dominance on the profession,” Mr Mshindi said.
Only stories published or aired from March 2016 to March 2017 were considered.
Dr Nancy Booker, Ajea’s panel of judges chair, said MCK received 700 entries, from 900 last year. She said this was “as a result of some of the categories being merged so as to ensure that entries were submitted in the right categories.”