MESHA is a membership organization for science journalists that provides support in covering health, development, agriculture and the environment. It does so by offering training workshops, mentorship, consultancies and encourages networking through meetings, congresses and conferences among journalists, scientists and other stakeholders in Kenya. MESHA’s work is emphatic on one on one mentoring of journalists.
The organization was founded in November 2005 and currently has nearly 120 members.
MESHA is run by a secretariat, which is overseen by a board of directors. The MESHA board is led by the Chairperson governs the organization through broad policies and objectives, formulated and agreed upon at the annual general meeting. The board oversees the functions of the Secretariat including to assign priorities and ensure that the organization’s capacity to carry out programs is met by continually reviewing its work. The board is also in charge of acquiring sufficient resources for the organization’s operations and to finance the products and services adequately.
Further the board accounts to the public and the stakeholders for the products and services of the organization and expenditures of its funds, including:
- Evaluates annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mission.
- To promote fiscal accountability, approve annual budgets and formulate policies related to contracts from public and private resources.
All these structures help MESHA to communicate science information to the public with the objective of shaping people’s attitudes and positively influencing behavioral change hence demand and secure scientific services from the government and other development actors. MESHA believes in training, publishing and mentorship.
The Board is hence expected to oversee;
- Training and provide continuous mentorship to science journalists
- Organize one bi-annual Africa Science Journalists Conference in collaboration with other partners who work closely with MESHA as well as the Kenya Science Journalists Congress.
- MESHA will build and strengthen the capacity its own leadership and members, spread over its regional chapters, on various aspects of health journalism so as to remain focused and find sustainable ways of maintaining the organization.
- Improve the skills and knowledge of health stakeholders on media operations, environments as well as practical experience in writing news releases, fact sheets and packaging information for journalists.
- Cultivate a new cadre of journalists, bloggers and citizen journalists trained to conduct investigative reporting in the field of health and science.
- Improve accurate, relevant and sustained science reporting in Kenya.
- Translate research and scientific development into stories.