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Workshop on the use of ICT tools for journalists at Mwanedu FM in Kenya

First phase (2012-2014)

UNESCO supported Mwanedu FM radio station, in Kenya, conducted a two-day training workshop to strengthen journalists capacities on the use of mobile phones, tablets and social media on the 29th and 30th of July 2014. The eight journalists, five men and three women, were exposed to Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools and social media that can facilitate the gathering and reporting of local news.

Local Radio

Mwanedu Radio

96.1 FM

Mwanedu FM's journalists during workshop

This activity was organized to enrich journalists with ICT knowledge, cutting across mobile phones, tablets and social media – these are important tools journalists should interact with on a daily basis. With the implementation of ICT tools, the expectations for journalists are that they can be able to bring relevant news to their audience in a timely manner. Due to the lack of access and knowledge, journalists were unable to take advantage of modern day technology causing a negative impact to the station.

The two-day training was of great success as the journalists’ ability to gather and report on news was facilitated tremendously. While in training, it was discovered that the mobile phone at hand of every journalist was underutilized. The training exposed journalists to the capabilities a mobile phone has while on the field. When the journalists were exposed to tablets, they discovered how easy and convenient it is to run news bulletins when compared to the traditional method of scripting and reading from papers. The use of tablets also demonstrated how easily and fast reporters can make edits and revisions to their stories.

Furthermore, a better computer network and internet connection at the station was implemented in order to facilitate the internal communication. The change allowed the news anchor to pull-up the bulletin from the editorial desk while still on set; making an improvement in news delivery. “How would one on air handle an update sent by the editor from the news desk?” asked one journalist. The trainer indicated that any news anchor must always be alert. A news item can be given as a brief then later in full when the anchor has grasped the content while still on air.

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Community media, including local radio, should be supported from several angles: strenghtened skills and capacity-building, reinforced network and knowledge sharing, promotion of favorable legislative environment for sustainable growth. UNESCO is supporting community media practically by training professionals, but is also working with duty-bearers to ensure progress at policy-level.