With today's newsroom environment having numerous competing interests, there is bound to be conflict. This calls for media leaders to manage conflict in a way that does not disrupt processes and impact on journalism quality.
The Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Media Programme Sub-Sahara Africa came together to create an intensive theoretical and practical based training programme. Entitled Managing Conflict in Today's Newsroom, the programme offered 15 newsroom managers from Sub-Sahara Africa a chance to come together and learn and share from their newsroom experiences.
The five-day programme, which began on November 14, 2022 was designed to equip the participants with the relevant skills needed to resolve workplace conflict and disagreement in order to lead effectively. The programme was led by GSMC's Interim Dean, Prof. Nancy Booker, KAS Media Programme Sub-Sahara Africa Director Christoph Plate and veteran Kenyan journalist Joe Odindo.
Prof. Booker acknowledged the importance of the programme noting that conflict is inevitable especially as newrooms work towards digital transformation. “Addressing conflict in the newsroom creates an environment for better performance, greater satisfaction and allows teams to work collectively towards sustainability", she said.
The programme combined the teaching experience of established faculty from across Africa and incorporated seasoned media leaders to share their experiences in dealing with conflict and management issues. As part of the media house tour, the participants visited Standard Media Group's modern, converged newsroom to learn more about their digital transformation.
Speaking at the graduation, KAS Media Programme Sub-Sahara Africa Director, Christoph Plate, noted the importance of the partnership. “Newsroom-Managers need exchange and reflection, and that is why KAS partnered with GSMC to put together this programme, which was a great success", he said.
GSMC and KAS are grateful to the following industry titans for joining us to make the first of many partnership programmes a success: Wangethi Mwangi, Pamela Sittoni, Linus Kaikai, Dapo Olorunyomi, Tom Osanjo, Judie Kaberia, Monica Ndung'u, Catherine Gicheru, Tazmin Alibhai, Charles Kimathi and Joseph Warungu; Asante!