#Twaweza: The Safaricom Business Journalism Fellowship Is Talking Media Professionals To The Next Level

0

Safaricom has over the last 3 years been training journalists and bloggers on how to write better, analytical business pieces through The Safaricom Business Journalism Fellowship which has been running at the Strathmore Business School. The fellowship has so far trained more than 40 students in 3 cohorts and each program takes 8 months.

“Journalists must endeavor to do thorough research which holds leaders accountable and that which draws new story perspectives. The role of journalists in creating an open window for investments through in-depth analytical business reporting is crucial,” remarked Dr. Monicah Kerretts – Senior Faculty of the fellowship.

 

 

During the inaugural launch of the program in 2014, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore highlighted the changes in the media landscape occasioned by the impact of social media and challenged the media to re-learn their audiences so as to deliver impactful news stories. “It’s time for business journalists to challenge the notion that Kenyan audiences are more interested in politics than they are in the development of the economy and how it affects them.” He said. “Successful journalists must be armed with an understanding of the business environment and how to cover business news.”

 

I interviewed 3 Safaricom Business Journalism Fellowship cohorts who graduated in March this year (disclosure here – I was one of the grandaunts of that cohort). I wanted to find out the impact of the course on their careers.

 Stanley Bore

 

  1. Please tell us a bit about yourself

I am the Head of radio and program production at Kass Media. I am also a radio and TV presenter at Kass media. I do interview programs on matters of education which is broadcast on Kass TV every Friday and I also do a health program which runs on radio every Tuesday evening.  Over the weekends I do entertainment shows, interviewing artists and guiding them on their musical careers. Apart from being a presenter, I also engage in program productions and commercial packaging right from scripting to packaging as per requirement of the clients.

  1. What made you apply for the fellowship?

I applied for the Safaricom Business Journalism Fellowship program (SBJF III) after interacting with one of my colleagues who had attended SBJF II. Seeing how he was progressing and executing his duties motivated me to go the same way. I also felt I needed more insight in terms of business and leadership. Every day comes with new challenges and you need to be in touch with what is happening your environment and around the world. I was also looking for mentorship from the great faculty who have a vast knowledge on what is happening in Kenya.

  1. How was the program?

The program was great, it  was an eye opener into the world of business and leadership. The content was real time and well executed. We had a great time with the entire faculty, personally I learned a lot professionally and also things I can implement in my personal life. We also had guest speakers’ who gave us real time experience in the cooperate world. By the end of the program I was able to also manage my side hustles more professionally.

  1. What were the takeaways from the program?

My takeaway from the program is how to lay down a strategy and be efficient to my company from conceptual to the implementation stage. This will enable my company to grow as well as those under my leadership. This program has enabled me to be more responsible when it comes to social media updates which might have both positive and negative impact on my company/business.

  1. How are you implementing what you learnt?

It is through this program that I am now in a position to lead a team without any complains or outcry. I am now in a position to transform an organization in terms of deliverables on an upward trend. I am also able to inspire others to grow and be their own boss.

Basically, I learned how to be efficient at work, time keeping and how to satisfy my clients through creating better content. It has helped me a great deal. I would recommend journalists and bloggers out there to try and grab the opportunity when it arises. We live in a society with different people of diverse backgrounds and many times we experience crisis at work as well as at home. How do we manage it? We manage it by working together,  we can only attest that truly indeed pamoja Twaweza! Thank you Safaricom for making it happen.

Find Stanley Bore on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Angel Katusya

 

  1. Please tell us a bit about yourself

I am the head of Corporate Communication, Simba Corporation, a Motor and Hospitality Group Operating in Kenya. Prior to this I worked at Ogilvy PR’s Nairobi office as a Senior Account Manager for 3 years. I joined Ogilvy in 2014 after a successful career as a news and feature journalist, having worked for 6 years at the Kenya Television Network-KTN and Citizen.

I am a highly driven and passionate lady who has vast interests in the media and corporate communications fields. I have an extensive understanding of how the media industry in Kenya and beyond works, This has made me be able to consult and formulate communication strategies for organizations, conduct media trainings for corporate bodies, N.G.Os or individual.

  1. What made you apply for the fellowship?

With over 7 years in media and communication in general, I fell in love with the field, I am passionate about PR, basically cutting through the noise and making an impact whether its brand awareness and affinity or generally just making relevant noise about a brand. To achieve this through PR I had to gain the best skills and training on Media, PR, and the emerging digital communication trends.

As I was in this space a friend introduced me to SBJF, he had just go be through the training and when I perused through the schedule and saw the modules, I knew exactly this is the training I needed to strengthen my skills.

  1. How was the program?

The program was intense, practical and modern. It didn’t not leave any aspect out. Having practiced journalism for years, I was shocked to learn new things which if I had known before I would for sure been a different journalist. Communication is central to human behavior and social interaction and that is what PR is about. Most units tackled 360 communication approaches, from reporting as journalist to developing effective communication strategies.

  1. What were the takeaways from the program?

I am currently developing and implementing internal and external communication strategies for my company. The training empowered me with knowledge, information, and skills that have placed me in a more strategic level than ever before. My editorial work, internal of that going out to press is more informative, objective and news worthy.

  1. How are you implementing what you learnt?

If I had come across this training earlier I would be on an MD level now, but it’s better late than ever. I will be sharing with you my MD story soon.

If you would like to interact with Angel you can find her on twitter at @angelkatuss.

Abel Muhatia

 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am a Kenyan journalist working with one of the mainstream media houses and I am also a business blogger at BizNews Media (www.biznews.co.ke). BizNews Media which was started in 2013 is a digital platform geared towards telling the Kenyan business news stories as they unfold.  I have worked with the Kenya News Agency and the People Daily Newspaper until 2015 when I chose to immerse myself in what is termed today as the New Media.

2. What made you apply for the fellowship?

I had and still have interest in growing my business writing skills. A number of my colleagues had undergone the training and I saw their reporting change. That inspired me a lot and I decided to apply.

3. How was the program?

It was excellently implemented. From the preparation of well-educated facilitators fused with an active class, things became easy to understand. There was a lot to learn and grab.

I liked the selection of different subjects, from the basics of how to write a business story to the details of analytics and facts.  I have to confess that most business journalists locally do not understand how to break economic jargon and performance to an ordinary Kenyan, the SBJF program helps one to break this out.

I would urge the funders of this program extend it to every business journalist out there with the aim of enhancing financial reporting.

4. What were the takeaways from the program?

Wow there were so many. Here are a few snippets.

  • You need to verify your sources and question them.
  • Critic everything you write in order to get the best of what you are looking for.
  • Be analytical and use infographics to breakdown your messages for easy understanding
  • Write what you can defend when on occasions where you are sued or questioned.

5. How are you implementing what you learnt?

Well since I finished the training, I have expanded my channels of communication by joining the mainstream media (when I started I was blogging full time). My stories are now precise and to the point. I am practicing being factual in my stories and have as many numbers as possible in order to give a clearer picture to my audience. Before I write any piece, I ask myself how it will affect Wanjiku…

You can find Muhatia on twitter at @abelMuhatia. Check out his interview for Man Around Nairobi.

Find out more about the Safaricom Business Journalism Fellowship here.

Facebook Comments