The Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media & Communications, GSMC, and the Kenya Editors Guild, KEG, have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen industry-academy linkages and to enrich their practice-led approach to journalism education and training. The agreement will allow members of the guild to participate in professionally structured learning activities that develop and enhance their abilities to contribute meaningfully to the editorial and newsroom leadership functions in their organisations.
Aga Khan University, AKU, Vice Provost for East Africa Dr Alex Awiti, said: “There is a tremendous contribution we can make to bolster and enhance capacity of media leaders, especially when innovation becomes the second name of journalists. We have to be serious as a society to move journalism to the same rank as other professions."
GSMC Dean Professor Lawrence Pintak reiterated the School's belief in the importance of ‘balanced, objective and reliable information’, of which the MoU is a natural evolution, highlighting the need for collaboration and the exchange of theories of practice in order to ensure a thriving, well-informed and agile media.
Chairman of the Kenya Editors Guild Mr Churchill Otieno reiterated his organisation's commitment to continuous professional development. He noted that a blended learning approach would help enhance continuous professional development activities. An innovation committee will also work to define standards to maintain membership of the guild such as minimum contact hours, he added.
Also in attendance at the MoU signing ceremony was Mr Stephen Gitagama, CEO of Nation Media Group and Chair of the Kenya Media Owners Association. While talking broadly about the need for independence and diverse media ownership, Mr Gitagama succinctly relayed the importance of a free and professional press. “Media freedom must remain supreme regardless of all the challenges that the media industry has been experiencing. We need to have more journalists leading media houses," he said.