THE DEEP DIVE 10TH EDITION
We're covering teenage pregnancies, police brutality and fake news tickers
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting moving restrictions put in place around the world exposed the public to all sorts of stresses and strains. Some, like virtual meeting etiquette, we could laugh off. Others were far more serious. During an address to the public in June 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted with concern the upsurge in sexual and gender-based violence, where women and young girls had been targeted, likely due to isolation resulting from the restrictions. “We must always remember that the family is a projection of the state. If the family is under attack, the state is under attack. If the family is weak, the country is weak,” Mr. Kenyatta said. Africa Uncensored, through its Investigate 101 training program looked into the issue, revealing heart-breaking stories of the trauma that young girls in Nakuru have endured. Read on for that story. We've also got an update on cases of police brutality and enforced disappearances from Africa Uncensored contributor. This, a day after the International day of victims of enforced disappearances is a reminder of the duty of the state to protect all its citizens from harm. Linda Ngari and the team at Piga Firimbi remind us about the insidious nature of fake news, and how you should stop and take a beat before forwarding that authentic-looking image that looks like a screengrab from your favourite news channel.
One more thing....
Here at Africa Uncensored we're all about celebrating wins, big and small, so allow me to spotlight a few. This is our 10th edition of The Deep Dive; not a huge milestone but one worth celebrating nonetheless. Over these past 10 editions, we have loved your contributions as our audience. We're always looking out for feedback on how to improve, so please let us know. My thanks go to Samuel Munia, our assignment editor, our social media editor Cecilia Ashioya, Linda Ngari on our fact-checking team, and all contributors who have worked on every edition.
Join The Newsroom | Edition 5
This Thursday, Join the Newsroom is back! We're discussing an important topic; the Church and politics. The pulpit has been used numerous times for political messaging, often distorting and sanitizing messages for otherwise crafty politicos from all camps. What are your thoughts about it? Join us from 7pm to 8pm for this talk. This time, we're moving to twitter spaces, so all you need to do is follow us on our twitter handled @Afuncensored.
See you there!
Senseless killings by the Kenyan Police
Just a day after the International day of victims of enforced disappearances, the commemoration serves as a reminder of the duty of the State to protect all its citizens as enshrined in the Kenyan constitution. Read Africa Uncensored article on recent cases of police brutality and enforced disappearances here!
Investigate 101 Training
Over a period of two years, a total of 56 journalists were trained under Africa Uncensored’s Investigate 101 training program, a project organised by Africa Uncensored in partnership with ForumCiv. The journalists were drawn from 10 counties across Kenya including Nairobi, Nakuru, Kajiado, Mombasa, Kisumu, Kisii, Kirinyaga, Wajir, Tharaka- Nithi and Uasin Gishu.
The training empowered the journalists with skills in multimedia storytelling, the principles of investigative journalism, shooting and editing videos, Fact-checking, and statistical skills for storytelling. They also learnt about collecting, editing, analysing, and interpreting data to produce stories. Part of the program was dedicated to teaching safety skills, which included basic concepts of physical safety, digital security, and psycho-social care.
At the end of the training, the journalists pitched ideas for investigative stories. 12 graduate trainees received story support and mentorship to enable them to produce documentaries. The stories focused on different topics including corruption in schools, gender violence, mental health within the police force, and ethnic clashes in Kenya. Below we feature one of these stories, from Cynthia Gichiri. Cynthia was based in Nakuru County and told a heartrending story about teenage pregnancies in the region.
Teenage Pregnancy: Looking Beyond the Burden
When I received an email inviting me to the Investigative 101 training in November 2019, I had no idea that my life and career would change completely.
Unbeknownst to me, one-week intense training was not just about two-hour knowledge-packed sessions interluded by sumptuous meal breaks; it was about sharpening my journalistic skills from researching, executing, and producing and eventually, changing my career’s direction.
My story, Teenage Pregnancy: Looking Beyond the Burden, is an Investigate 101 project. It is about the struggle of teenage moms from my home county, Nakuru versus the ongoing debate on sex education and various legislative interventions that aim at curbing adolescent pregnancies in the county.
During production and the subsequent publication, it emerged that while the country may not be ready for interventions such as contraceptives for sexually active children and lowering the age of consent to 16 years, sex education and law enforcement against perpetrators remain a key weapon towards ending this menace, that has reared its ugly head not only in Nakuru but in Kenya at large during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Finally, I would like to thank the entire Africa Uncensored team, mentors, and crew members for making this story a success.
Africa Uncensored Live Webinars
Africa Uncensored is excited to be hosting a series of three webinars covering a cross-section of the social issues highlighted in the documentaries and the accountability of duty bearers (state organs). The webinars are aimed at targeting Kenyan citizens to connect, engage and discuss the issues raised in the documentaries.
The first webinar launched on 26th August 2021 addresses Teenage Pregnancy-Looking Beyond The Burden in Nakuru County.
The free webinars will be available live on our YouTube channel, recorded and archived for replay as well.
Of Tacky News Tickers
The fake news brigade loves using news fonts you are used to
This image that replaced Donald Trump with Mikel Arteta is an instance where a renowned station's footage is doctored to peddle fake news. The image is from a 2019 survey, where Germans thought that Trump was more dangerous than Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin.
Another case where a similar satirical tone was adopted was in this doctored image which announced that President Kenyatta apparently declared a nationwide lockdown on Valentine's day this year. The image was supposed to look like a "live" broadcast from Citizen TV.
On to more malicious fabrications, with significant potential to cause harm and sway public opinion. This doctored image falsely portrayed former US President Barack Obama as endorsing Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto for President ahead of the 2022 elections. This one deviously slotted in a BBC News logo. Piga Firimbi debunked this doctored image from an unrelated event here.
In a breakdown of how such images are crafted, Piga Firimbi debunked a similar claim that said that the COVID-19 vaccine supposedly enlarged the penis. This claim even concocted a news ticker which indicated that the vaccine would increase penis length by 23% according to "studies". An online site known as ‘Break Your Own News’ was used to create this image. It functions as a marketing or parody tool, akin to one that was used to prematurely declare Nana Akufo Addo's presidential win in December 2020. This one squeezed in a shoddy CNN logo. These sites are often used to fabricate disinformation despite users' warning not to use them to create information that is “unlawful, defamatory or likely to cause distress” adding that they are meant for “fun, humour and parody".
Editorial Director: John-Allan Namu
Assignment Editor: Sam Munia
Social Media Manager: Cecilia Ashioya
Contributors: Linda Ngari, Cynthia Gichiri, Catherine Muema and Kevin Mbugua
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Happy to have read the 10th edition of the deep dive.