The BBC Swahili, an international media station, took the initiative of empowering and equipping Journalism students of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) with necessary journalistic skills during their three day tour (29th May to 31st May) in western Kenya. The BBC team led by Wanyama wa Chebusiri, senior Swahili journalist, Ann Ngugi, journalist, Idris Situma, BBC Swahili online editor conducted a mentorship program within MMUST.
Situma said that BBC in partnership with MMUST intends to nurture and develop a pool of talents whereby instead of getting journalists from Nairobi to cover a story in Kakamega, we enable journalists in Kakamega because they are the ones who can tell the story better.
This comes after rising cases about the half-baked media and communications students graduating from universities lately with excellent grades on paper yet with limited skills in practical experience. This is mainly because lack of enough resources in the Universities especially public universities thus limiting the full potential of students development.
“In partnership with the university we intend to empower students at MMUST FM radio to have necessary skill in preparing content that engages the audience listening” Says Situma.
During the three day mentorship program students together with the top media personalities were able to traverse the county of Kakamega gathering news so as to get a firsthand experience of the field work from the professionals themselves. They were able to cover various stories concerning people and the County including Sugarcane farming, infertility among women and plight of university students. The students got the opportunity to take part in live discussions, “amka na BBC” and “Dira ya Dunia” that were streamed live on BBC Swahili online platforms. They were also taught on how to use the free online media platforms such as facebook and twitter as a tool for reporting.
The University administration and the communication students termed the program a success. “The training has been helpful I can now report any story confidently” echoes Joan Kwamboka one of the Journalism student at Masinde Muliro University.
By Victor Birai