The Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA) is a Kenya-based and registered association of science journalists and communicators, whose membership includes journalists, editors, scientists and communicators. It is a not-for-profit membership association that champions the interests of science journalists in Kenya and Africa. It is a non-partisan organization which has been at the forefront at putting forward the case for better and greater networking and collaboration between scientists, journalists and government for the public good.
MESHA publishes a quarterly science magazine called Sayansi. We also run a mentorship program for science journalists at all levels of career development. The association is affiliated to the World Federation of Science Journalists, the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists and the African Federation of Science Journalists. We have a track record of successfully organizing and hosting high-profile congresses and conferences that bring together hundreds of participants —journalists, scientists, donors and communication officers from across Africa— to learn and share .
Here is the current issue of the SAYANSI PUBLICATION. For older publications go to our SAYANSI page in above button.12. Sayansi Magazine - Twelfth Issue - April 2019 (1)
Past Mesha Activities and Achievements
Over the past ten years, MESHA has made good progress in achieving its objectives. Specifically, MESHA has realised the following achievements:
Registration and development of a constitution– MESHA was registered in Kenya in 2005 as a Society. MESHA members developed a constitution to guide its operations and activities, and this came into effect in December 2005.
Increasing membership – Through aggressive membership recruitment drives, MESHA has raised its membership to 100 currently from 15 at the time of its formation in 2005.
Website development and management – So as to expand the reach of its activities as well as take advantage of emerging technologies in distributing news, MESHA with support from WFSJ developed and continues to maintain an interactive website. The MESHA website shares the association’s activities and features science stories emerging from within and outside Kenya.
WFSJ membership – MESHA leadership led the establishing of linkages with the WFSJ, and in 2007 MESHA became an official member of the WFSJ. Being a member of the WFSJ has not only helped put MESHA on the international scene, but also facilitated the participation of its members in international forums on science journalism as well as sponsored trainings of journalists in better reporting of science. It has also led to funding for the establishment of a functional and vibrant Secretariat.
Platform for journalists and communicators exchange of information – For the past five years, MESHA has provided a platform for journalists, communicators and scientists to share and exchange information on the various issues they are involved in as well as on ways of
improving media coverage of science. MESHA has done this through its meetings which bring together journalists, communicators and scientists.
Partnerships – MESHA has to date attracted more than twenty partners all contributing in kind to support members’ activities and trainings. The partnerships have strengthened MESHA’s activities by serving as a source of funding, expanding MESHA’s networking with science organizations, and through these activities MESHA has sought to reinforce the role of science in development.
News Service – MESHA has been running a news service that aims to disseminate science information since 2008. The news service has helped raise MESHA’s profile as well as expand the reach of science news around the world.
Mentorship – Over the past ten years, MESHA has continually trained 8 young journalists every year as a stepping stone to science journalism. The mentorship program allows the growth of science journalism in Africa.
Hosting of the First ever Africa Science Journalists Conference in 2012 – through a unique partnership mainly with Kenyan based organisations, in particular Internews in Kenya, MESHA raised nearly USD 100,000 to put together an excellent pan-African science journalists conference which also saw a strong participation from the Lusaka, Zambia based Panos Institute of Southern Africa. The conference was attended by nearly 180 journalists from all over Africa. The greatest output of the conference was the development and signing of the African Declaration on Effective Science Communication. The declaration has apportioned all sectors roles that have to play for the development of science reporting and communication in the Continent. In 2014, the second Conference was organised again by MESHA as mentioned near the end of this write up.
In 2013, the network hosted the first ever Kenya Science Journalists Congress raising nearly USD 40,000 for the three day event. The second edition of the Congress was held in 2015. The third one was supposed to be held in 2017 but its timing clashed with the political process of elections hence it was shelved.
In terms of management, MESHA has been running consistent yearlong projects since five years ago. This project has employed three people who will each give 30 per cent of their work on managing the conference and follow up on commitments made. These are one coordinator and two project officers. They will all work under the Project Lead who is the overall head of MESHA. They all have vast experiences working on such like projects.
MESHA is currently involved in the following activities:
News service – MESHA runs a news service that sources and circulates information in emerging issues in the areas of environment science, health and agriculture. This service provides a channel for extending the reach of science information originating from within
and outside Kenya. MESHA distributes its news to major national and international media channels across the world.
Website – MESHA maintains an active and interactive website that provides information on the association’s activities as well as sharing science news originating from Kenya and those originating from outside Kenya.