Kipruto who joined AKU’s Graduate School of Media and Communications as a print journalist can now produce TV features and manage the production process.
In February 2020, Kenneth Kipruto will be among the graduates from Aga Khan University (AKU) in Kenya. He stands among a unique breed – his class is the very first graduating cohort of Masters in Digital Journalism.
We caught up with Kipruto, as he likes to be called, to find out his AKU student experience and future plans as an AKU alumni.
I have always wanted to be a journalist. While in primary school, I used to imitate radio presenters, so I knew I was destined to be one. I have schooled in public institutions all my life, until I joined AKU. Interestingly, the primary and high schools and even the university I attended were within a 25-kilometre radius of each other. I studied information sciences at Moi University, and I am a blend of IT, publishing, records management and library science (a toxic combination if you ask me). But my major was in media and publishing, I have worked for two media houses, Radio Africa and currently The Standard newspaper where I am an editor.
I always knew AKU as a medical college, so I was a bit taken back when my boss told me they offer graduate studies in media. That's how I got interested.
I joined the programme, first because of the digital aspect of the course. Journalism is undergoing a digital shift and I knew the course would help me move with the tide. Secondly, I was extremely impressed with the recruitment process -- it showed from the onset that this was a serious undertaking. I am pleased to say MA DJ has lived up to my expectation, notwithstanding the fact that we are the pioneer cohort.
I have huge respect and admiration for the faculty and I'm going to miss them. Most of them have become good friends -- they were ever willing to help. They (faculty) are like peers really, as they took a hands-on teaching approach. Special mention goes to Dr Rhonda Breit and Stephen Buckley. I would also like to applaud the GSMC staff as they were very helpful. The campus itself is a wonderful place to be, it gave us the ideal environment to learn.
Where do I begin? So much to say about that trip to Pakistan. The student experience conference Parwaaz, as it was called, was such a pleasant experience. I got to meet a lot of people from different backgrounds, and it was so special to learn and share our experiences in the higher education sector; the parallels between the systems in Kenya and the rest of the countries where AKU has a presence. I learnt about this conference through the faculty and it interested me immediately. I loved everything about Karachi, from the people to the food.
The course has been hugely beneficial. As a newspaper editor, I no longer think of the stories as just for print but for the website too. I can proudly say that thanks to the course, I can do a story for TV and radio. I learnt how to operate a camera, produce a TV feature and manage the production process. I can proudly say that thanks to MA DJ, I am an all-rounded journalist.
Absolutely. You want an international-standard education? Join AKU!