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Standard Group writer Caroline Chebet wins prestigious award

 Standard Group journalist Caroline Chebet plants a tree at Losaba Conservancy during a Rhino translocation event on February 13, 2024. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A Standard Group journalist has been awarded a prestigious Award by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network for her exceptional reporting on biodiversity.

Caroline Chebet, a reporter based in Nakuru, received recognition for her compelling biodiversity stories that bring attention to issues often overlooked in the media.

“Chebet’s reports on under-reported biodiversity issues have made a significant impact. Following her investigative story, the Kenyan government recently banned the ownership of unregistered African grey parrots. Journalists often aspire for their work to lead to positive change and policy reforms that benefit communities. We are thrilled that her reporting achieved exactly that,” said Joydeep Gupta, India’s Earth Journalism Network manager, during the event in Palo Alto, California.

Chebet was honoured with the Excellence in Biodiversity Reporting award. Her vibrant reporting on biodiversity has highlighted conservation of species such as birds, frogs and wild dogs. She has also explored climate change issues.

“This award celebrates those small stories that create ripples and make a difference in the natural world and beyond. Today, I raise a glass to the power of passion and the magic of small beginnings that bloom into extraordinary outcomes. Let’s continue telling those wild and wonderful stories because they matter,” she said.

 Caroline Chebet was honoured with the Excellence in Biodiversity Reporting award. [Courtesy]

She added: “While my byline appears on these stories, the truth is they are a symphony of voices. To the mentors who saw the spark and fanned it into a flame, receive my deepest gratitude.”

The event also marked the 20th anniversary of the Earth Journalism Network. Over the past two decades, the network has supported journalists through story grants, network-building activities, local training workshops and solutions-oriented field trips.

“We were among the first to recognize the urgency of environmental issues and adopt a game-changing approach to address them. In the 21st Century, as ecosystems collapsed, so did newsrooms, press freedoms and the quality of information. We could no longer rely on the market to provide environmental and climate coverage our civilization needs,” said EJN director James Fahn.

Chebet has carved a niche in reporting on conservation, environmental issues, science, gender, climate change and education. Her work has addressed biodiversity loss, conservation education, restoration initiatives, indigenous knowledge conservation and environmental investigative stories.

In 2021, her story on the restoration initiative in Kenya’s Tana Delta won the Media Council of Kenya’s Annual Journalism Excellence Development Reporting award. Her investigative story on trafficking and trade of African grey parrots inspired policy changes when the government outlawed ownership of unregistered birds.

In 2022, she was the first runner-up in the same award category for her story on how the Indigenous Minority Community Ogiek in Mt Elgon are using traditional bylaws to conserve their historical lands.

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