NMG journalists shine at AJEA awards, win in 11 of 18 categories

Nation Media Group (NMG) journalists stole the show on Friday night during the Media Council of Kenya’s annual awards, having at least one winner in 11 of the 18 competitive categories.

At the 12th edition of the council’s Annual Journalism Excellence Awards (Ajea) held in Nairobi, stories published on various NMG platforms between February 1, 2023, and January 31, 2024, shone brightly.

Under each of the 18 categories, the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) awarded prizes in radio, TV, print, and digital sub-categories. NMG journalists dominated in various print, TV and digital sub-categories.

NMG Editor-in-Chief Joe Ageyo, who was also among the award presenters during the event, said he was proud of the media house’s feat.

“The brilliant performance of the NMG team at the AJEA awards is a ringing endorsement of our audience-centred journalism. That our journalists won in nearly 70 percent of the categories and across platforms is proof that NMG’s pivot towards new ways of storytelling is paying off.

“The awards encourage us to continue telling the stories that matter as we expand our reach into the fast evolving digital content landscape,” said Mr Ageyo.

NMG Group Managing Editor, Ms Pamella Sittoni, also congratulated all the winners.

“We’re extremely proud of all our winners, our runners up and all those whose work was nominated for the Annual Journalism Excellence Awards. Once again, we have sent out a clear message that excellence reigns at Nation Media Group.

“I am especially proud of our youthful winners. Our journalism is in safe hands. We truly celebrate them!,” said Ms Sittoni.

At the awards, NMG received special praise from Ms Judy Kaberia, who chaired the 2024 Ajea judges’ panel.

“Especially in print, health, gender, environment, (winners) were from one single media house. The competition was among journalists working for the same newspaper. Some categories were dominated by this media house and in some instances, only their stories were entered in certain categories.

“It was so difficult even when we tried to do the moderation the best that we could do. It was still difficult to displace this media house,” said Ms Kaberia.

“We beg with this question: what strategies does this media house employ to maintain such a high level of competition?” she posed.

Without mentioning names, she also fingered a local daily that she said registered a marked drop in the quality of its stories.

“We could not ignore a troubling decline in story quality from one of the newspapers that in the past was among the top. Is it leaning towards public relations? Is it fear of intimidation? What has happened to this specific newspaper?” she wondered.

Health reporter Hellen Shikanda was the only NMG journalist to emerge tops in two categories— Best Investigative Story (print) and health and medical Reporting (Print). The stories that won her the honours are her digging up of the contamination that caused deaths at Mukumu Girls and another on a baby born deaf who was given the power to hear.

Nation Media Group’s Public Editor, Mr Peter Mwaura, was among four senior journalists who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Others are Wambui Kiai, Elizabeth Obege, Ali Salim Mmanga.

Cape Media’s Elizabeth Ochieng was named the journalist of the year.

She had earlier won in the Health and Medical Reporting (TV) category.

Attorney-General Justin Muturi, who was the chief guest at the event, called for the upholding of ethical journalism.

“Let us continue to amplify the voices of the voiceless, hold those in power to account while championing the principles of ethical journalism and uphold the vital role of the media in our society,” he said.


1. Agriculture and Food Security

  1. (Print) Kamau Maichuhie

2. Best Investigative Story

  1. (TV) Ngina Kirori, Alex Oeba, Louis Ngari
  2. (Print) Hellen Shikanda

3. Breaking News Reporting

  1. (TV) Kenneth Rutto
  2. (Digital) Daniel Ogetta

4. Development and Public Affairs Reporting

  1. (Print) Mercy Koskei, Fred Kibor
  2. (Digital) Moraa Obiria

5.Digital Superhighway and Innovation Reporting

  1. (Print) Angela Oketch
  2. (Digital) Amina Mbuthia

6. Environment and Climate Change Reporting

  1. (Print) Vincent Owino

7. Gender Reporting

  1. (Print) Mkamburi Mwawasi
  2. (Digital) Ruth Sarmwei, Jesse Chenge

8. Governance Reporting

  1. (Print) Ibrahim Karanja, Mercy Chelangat

9. Health and Medical Reporting

  1. (Print) Hellen Shikanda

10. Illustrator of the year

  1. Samuel Muigai

11. Best Television Production

  1. Smriti Vidyarthi, Jane Gatwiri, Robert Gichira