Verah Okeyo, Kenya, wins Microsoft and ICFJ grant program award

Verah Okeyo, Kenya, wins Microsoft and ICFJ grant program award

Kenya environment and health reporter,
Verah Okeyo, wins Microsoft Modern Journalism and ICFJ Alumni reporting grant program award.

Verah Okeyo

Verah Okeyo is an environment and health reporter at The Daily Nation in Kenya. She is one of the first two Microsoft Modern Journalism grant program award recipients. Her project looks to uncover why child mortality is declining in some Kenyan counties and rising in others.

Microsoft’s Modern Journalism program is a Data Journalism and Immersive Storytelling grant initiative in partnership with International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). The imitative will award grants to alums of ICFJ programs for reporting projects focusing on data journalism and immersive technology. In two phases, there will be the Data Journalism award and the Storytelling award, with two recipients in each category.

Microsoft says it “recognizes not just the fundamental need for a free press., But also the fundamental need for the free press to adapt to how people seek information.”

How can we help journalists around the world tell stories. From sports updates to watchdog investigations, in ways that promote transparency, understanding and engagement?

The grant program will operate in two phases. The first will award funding and hands-on data journalism training to two alumni of ICFJ programs. The second phase will award grants for funding and training journalists need to pioneer storytelling using immersive technologies like livestreaming and mixed reality.” – Microsoft

ICJF’s Senior Vice President of new initiatives, Sharon Moshavi, talks about the collaboration with Microsoft.

We’re thrilled to partner with the Microsoft Modern Journalism Initiative. To support reporting projects focused on data analysis and immersive storytelling. Through these projects, we aim to highlight innovative ways that journalists can enhance news coverage and connect more deeply with audiences.”

Child Mortality Project

Verah Okeyo’s data driven investigations will use demographic health surveys, studies and research to track Kenya’s child mortality since 1965.
She says “rather than selecting a county or a set of circumstances from the outset, the investigation will follow a meaningful analysis of the available data.”

Okeyo will work with her colleagues at the Nation Media Group science desk to investigate child mortality trends in Kenya. By pairing demographic data analysis with field reporting at health facilities. She says the team hopes their work will inform ongoing efforts to extend the lifespan of children in the country”.

Verah will receive $7,500 and hands-on data visualization training using Microsoft Power BI.

The second part of the grant, Immersive Storytelling is currently opened. It is opened to journalists from all beats who would benefit from immersing audiences in their stories. Click to apply.