East African Media Conference To Reinvent Story telling & Journalism
The Aga Khan University (AKU) Media Innovation Centre, in partnership with DW Akademie, Tanzania’s Ennovate Hub and Uganda’s Media Challenge Initiative, held its four-day East Africa Storytelling Festival (EAST Fest) whose aims are to reinvent storytelling and journalism in East Africa.
Bringing together the brightest minds on media innovation and media viability from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the conference shared expertise and debate on topics like new ways of storytelling, journalism education, audience development, business models, and the newsroom of the future.
Speaking at the launch day, The Director of the Innovation Centre Dr Njoki Chege, noted that the conference has come right in time when disruptions are threatening the normal life of media.
“We are excited to kick start this four-day hybrid conference that will offer a unique festival experience with a very diverse program of inspirational talks, interactive workshops and meetings, exhibitions, and performances about everything relating to media innovation in East Africa,” said Dr Chege.
“The conference has brought together a broad range of stakeholders – academics, innovators, media managers and practitioners, bloggers, donors, and entrepreneurs, – to discuss new ways of storytelling and explore media viability in the region. We will also present key results from an exciting, one-of-a-kind research project on Media Viability in East Africa,” added Dr Chege.
She further reiterated the importance of the conference in helping young journalists and media founders to re-centre their strategies and work to deliver compelling journalism pegged on telling stories that educate and entertain; provoke and inspire.
Gracing the event, Professor Bitange Ndemo, professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi School of Business and a global ICT thought leader, noted the need for Media players in Kenya to adjust the new technologies disrupting the industry.
“The environment in which the media is working in has changed tremendous over the years so has the business environment and professional obligations for journalist. News consumption has changed and indicators show it will still change tremendously in the coming years,” said Prof Ndemo.
“Such initiatives will play a key role in shaping the new media environment, preparing new journalists for the drastic changes going on in our industry,” added Prof Ndemo.
In attendance was Professor Lawrence Pintak, Dean at GSMC, Aga Khan University, East Africa who noted that the conference is going to create the space for journalists and media owners to begin to think about the media as a business and journalism as a craft, enhancing the professional capability of journalists and creating a pathway for new business models for media houses in the digital age.
MCI’s CEO, Abaas Mpindi, shared his excitement in hosting the conference and the discussions on media viability that will be borne within the four days.
“I am particularly excited about the sessions on the future of journalism, scaling young journalists and the next generation of journalists’ who will be championing media viability and sustainability,” said Abaas.
“My biggest take away will be on how we will keep the news room lights on by creating various new business and revenue models to not only sustain the business but create quality news content,” added Abaas.