About

Top Story

About

What is
Top Story?

Top Story is a national mentorship project for young journalists. It takes the form of a unique TV reality show featuring a journalism competition. It’s a search for Kenya’s top young investigative journalists who have what it takes to tell a compelling story in a professional and ethical manner.

It is also a media literacy programme that reveals the behind-the-scenes working of the media, to show the public how the newsroom operates, how stories are produced and what it actually means to be a professional journalist.

The Plot

Their task is to investigate and reveal the truth about a story that has emerged at a specified location. The contestants must dig into the story, interview witnesses, resolve the issue and file a digital story (450-word article with pictures) for the web. There’s a 12-hour deadline for the task and submission of the stories, which are assessed by an independent panel of judges and a winner announced.

The stories being investigated are real and involve real people and situations and they focus on social and development issues that are of public interest.

Each week we are on the trail of two universities who fight it out for a place in the finals. At the end of each episode the two teams face the judges who decide which university proceeds to the next level of the competition. One university is sent home each week.

Before the challenge begins, all the contestants gather at a boot camp to attend journalism master classes, which are run by well-known and experienced media professionals from Kenya and abroad.

Aims of Top Story

Top Story is an educational and entertaining show with several key objectives:

Accountability

To emphasize to the public the importance of independent journalism in keeping Kenya’s political and business elite accountable

Professional Journalism

To promote high standards of professional journalism and ethics using an entertainment format.

Development Agenda

To focus public attention on important development issues such as health, agriculture, technology, business and tourism, which don’t receive much regular attention from the media.

Media Literacy

To reveal to the general public how journalism actually works; how journalists find and tell stories and the struggles involved.

Talent

To find, showcase and nurture young journalism talent.