Lominda Afedraru

Entry type: Portfolio

Country/area: Uganda

Publishing organisation: All the articles have been Published in Daily Monitor Newspaper

Organisation size: Big

Cover letter:

January 10, 2023,
The management Sigma data Journalism
Media Awards 2023
Dear Sir/madam,
Ref: Cover for Ms Lominda to compete in Sigma data Journalism media awards 2023
It is interesting writing feature articles that topics related to science Journalism in the area of environmental science and climate change, health science, agricultural science, marine science, engineering and Energy and Information Communication Technology among others.
My name is Ms Lominda Afedraru a freelance science Journalist attached to Nation Media Group head quartered in Nairobi Kenya but in the Daily Monitor Publication in Kampala Uganda.
I do freelance for other scientific magazines abroad including Genetic Literacy Project and Alliance for Science in USA, Centre for Science and Environment in India, Pan Africa Agriculture publication in Nairobi Kenya including editing scientific books for scientific organizations on consultancy basis
I have practiced Journalism for the last 20 years where I began as a general reporter but for the last sixteen years I have majored in science reporting.
I am features writer which requires analysis of data and general information gathering and I have trained as a data journalists in various trainings within the country and elsewhere.
I have participated in several online/ face to face fellowships, the first one being a two year online/face to face fellowship courtesy of World Federation of Science Journalists Sjcoop programme where I graduated with Higher Diploma in Science Journalism in 2012.
I also participated in a two year fellowship in Biosciences for Framing in Africa courtesy of University of Cambridge UK where I emerged the overall winner science journalism reporting in 2014.
I am well-travelled journalist going to attend scientific meetings for purposed of gathering information for publication with my recent visit last year in October in Germany for a tour exploring the agriculture sector in Berlin.
Some of my mentors are senior science Journalists including Lynne Smith from South Africa who mentored me during the WFSJ Sjcoop programme.
Others are Otulah Owori from Science Africa Nairobi Kenya who is known as the father of Science Journalism in Africa. There are quite a number of my mentors in Nairobi Kenya and in Uganda a good number of them are scientists who have guided me in reporting scientific topics in the simplest manner.
A number of Editors in the Monitor Newspaper where I have worked for as freelancer have also helped on how to polish my story some of them have since left the paper and moved on.
The Monitor News that produces the daily news and features section is flexible because it us me space to publish my feature stories which are developmental touching lives of communities. This leads to policy making in certain circumstances to improve lives of communities.
I belong to different science Journalist Associations right from the counytry Asociation Uganda Jounalists Science Association and Afrca Federation of Science Journalists where I sit on the board of both as General Secretary
I do mentor upcoming science journalists and I mentor train them as well.
I have won a number of Awards all related to science Journalism descipline.
Therefore if given the opportunity to win in the data journalism competition this will expose me experts and journalist colleagues from whom I can learn further to improve my writing skill.
I treasure in networking and this way I am able to create more sources globally because I do write articles for global readership where the coverage of sources has be wide.
I will also be able to share my experiences for other colleagues to know how I do it as a freelance journalist
Hoping to be successful.

Description of portfolio:

My understanding of projects is explaining the stories I am submitting for the entry and I have submitted five story links most of them tagged to agriculture and climate change because I published most of my Covid-19 articles and other health related stories in 2021.
These are articles I pursued individually on my own accord and all are published in Daily Monitor in a farming magazine within the newspaper called Seeds of Gold to which I am a major contributor.
The background of how as freelancer I get my stories published in the newspaper is that I have been any active journalist writing stories on daily basis but it is upon the Editorial team to choose to publish the stories or trash them into a dust bin.
This therefore means all stories I write are published though most of them get published and it is the reason I have specialised because the editorial team know I am the expert in writing the science articles.
However there is the challenge of reaching out to the scientific Institutions or rural communities in search of information because the media outlet does not facilitate
Sometimes sources are busy to attend to me when contact for an interview about s tory idea I have come up with which is another challenge.
However I managed to overcome these challenges by building friendship with a number of my sources and a good number are able to reach out to me to go to the field with them when going in the fled upcountry and I get the chance to reach out to the communities.
I sometimes apply for story grants to publish stories of the interest as per the call topic and once I am successful, I am able to reach out to the communities to gather information for story publish
Sometimes I conduct phone call interviews or sent questions to my sources vial email and for sources who do not have time for me I reach out to alternative sources to get the same information.
This is the reason I find it easier to publishing stories related to agricultural science and climate change because the experts are easy to reach to compare to those dealing in Human science because they are a little reserved in giving information.
The five story links differ in content because the two are from my recent visit to Berlin Germany which was an organised trip for journalists and other stakeholders from different countries by the Germany Embassy in our various countries reaching out to us and I happened to be privileged from my Country Uganda.
I wrote these stories for farmers and other stakeholders in agriculture sector to learn from what is going on in Germany because most of the research work done by scientist is collaborative with their colleagues abroad.
The other stories are about research work done by scientists in the animal and crop sector to come up with ant tick vaccines which has been launched for animal husbandry farmer’s uptake.
The ground breeding story is solely about how scientists in Uganda have over the years bred groundnuts for consumer uptake because most Ugandans consume it as a delicacy. This means the production has to be increased because the demand is high.
The last story is about the importance of valuable insects in the pollination process of plants. A section of scientists are maintaining the insectarium especially for students to acquire knowledge about the various insect species.
All articles are i Publish in English which the officail language in Uganda.

Project links: