Rebecca Mutiso has worked in print media for over ten years but always felt an urge to improve her skills. She wants to be a multimedia journalist and needs entrepreneurial knowledge to run a digital media company. She applied for the MA in Digital Journalism (MADJ) Programme offered by AKU's Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) because she wanted a world-class education without leaving Kenya. Born in a family of three, Rebecca pursued a diploma in Mass Communication before enrolling for a degree programme at the University of Nairobi.
Rebecca chose GSMC because it offered an exceptional education delivered by some of the best minds in the media industry both locally and abroad. She also liked the diversity of the curriculum, which did not just emphasise classroom learning, but practical learning as well. The application process for the programme was rigorous, but not too tedious as it involved an admission test and a face-to-face interview. She liked that it required one to infuse their experience as a journalist as well as their understanding of the media landscape.\
Rebecca confesses that the MADJ programme was structured in a way that made it easy for her to balance work, family and studies. She acknowledges her family, especially her husband and father-in-law for being very supportive and always willing to step in when she wasn't available because of school or work commitments. She was most surprised by the faculty whom credits for being some of the best brains in the industry yet very approachable and humble. “The first thing they told us is not to address them by their titles, which was a little surprising because most people with their level of education get offended when you don't address them as Dr," she said.
She cites her biggest highlight as completing her research project amidst a pandemic. She hopes that her research titled, 'Place of Solutions Journalism in coverage of a pandemic: Examining coverage of Covid-19 in Kenyan newspapers,' will encourage media houses in Kenya to adopt a solutions-oriented approach when reporting on crises, rather than simply contributing to the gloom and doom.
Rebecca says she has discovered her innate leadership skills and has identified internal barriers to growth, and how to work around them. She also mentions that she applied for a job in a government institution that was about to undergo a major digital shift in its operations and the fact that she was a digital journalism student gave her an advantage. She hopes to transition into academia by pursuing a PhD and curve a niche in the digital media landscape, especially in solutions journalism.