After years working in the media industry, Faith Oneya, an Editor at the Daily Nation decided to pursue AKU’s Master of Arts in Digital Journalism programme. Before her rise to news editor, she worked in the digital media department which gave her a taste of the new and dynamic field in media. Her experience there also led her to question the opportunities available for women in digital media – a query that moved her to conduct research as part of her studies. She shares more on her journey and the impact the programme had on her career.
How did you know about the Master of Arts in Digital Journalism course?
I was looking for an academic programme that would grow and advance my knowledge in digital journalism. When I saw the course advertised in the newspaper, I knew it was the perfect fit.
How was your learning experience?
There has been a lot of unlearning, relearning and learning in the process. It has been equally rewarding as it has been challenging. One of the challenges has been the unlearning - excavating that which you think you know and being open to learning new things. This has been a challenge and of course there was the steady stream of assignments and projects to get us to where we are. The reward though is the testing, sharpening and shaping of our leadership and organizational skills.
How has this programme impacted your career?
When I joined Nation Media Group, I was employed in the digital department as a web producer. With time, I moved to the print department. The digital media department allowed for flexibility in the newsroom, which I thought would be advantageous for women, hence I decided to research on digital media and women. The aim of my research was to find out if digital media has created opportunities for women to expand their careers in the newsroom. I discovered that there have been substantial opportunities created for both women and men. As a student and as a woman, I know that I need to take that extra mile for me to stand out in the competitive digital media space.
How did you manage to balance work, family and studies?
I think balance is a myth because a ball will always be dropped. Making sacrifices is what is seen as having balance. Whether it is working or spending time with the family or in class, the whole point is to make that time count because it does not allow for balance in any way. When I am in class I make that time count, when I am with my family, I make that time count and in the office, I make that time count. Having that kind of philosophy has helped me deal with the challenges of everything needing my attention at the same time.
What advice would you give someone who wants to join the MA Digital Journalism programme?
Be ready to work, be ready to learn, be ready to make your time at AKU count. Be ready to unlearn, relearn and learn afresh.
What are your future plans?
Before I joined the programme, I was really keen on expanding my academic knowledge because I wanted to go into academia, research and consultancy. This is still a valid dream for me. I believe with the knowledge that I have acquired at AKU, I will become a better journalist, practitioner, trainer and academic. I hope to pursue a doctoral degree in digital media. There are a number of leads I am pursuing and hopefully I will soon have an update on it.