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Female journalists across Africa drilled in Digital and Mobile Journalism

Written by  Hilda Ngomano

More than one hundred media women from 13 African countries including Malawi have been equipped with technical and digital skills as a way of strengthening digital and mobile journalism which has reshaped the media industry globally.

Malawian Journalists at the Camp Malawian Journalists at the Camp

These female journalists were attending a five day Women Media Leaders’ boot camp in Naivasha, Kenya as part of their leadership training under the International Women’s Media Foundation and WAN-IFRA Women in News.

In her key note address at the opening of the bootcamp training, Pamella Sittoni, who is the Executive Editor of the Daily Nation in Kenya, said with the coming in of various social media networks, journalism has gone beyond its traditional role of informing, educating and entertaining through radio, television, websites and newspapers.  

Sittoni said the media is expected to play the fourth, and possibly most important role of enlightening the society through the various social network platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,  hence the need for journalists to have the ability to mine data electronically and tell a story through social media.

She said: “Technology has given journalism the platforms and tools to reach larger audiences across the world at greater speed. We must embrace technology as an enabler for our journalism, and not vilify it.”

One of the facilitators at the bootcamp training, Churchill Otienno, who is the head of Digital at Nation Media Group in Kenya said Digital and mobile journalism technologies have dramatically reshaped the media ecosystem and how news and information is gathered, distributed and consumed, hence the need for journalists to be well equipped with digital and technological skills for them to be able to share the media stage with those who use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to access news.

Ottieno said: “These changes have challenged and redefined the nature and practice of traditional journalism, along with the relationship between journalists and readers.”

He added that: “Journalists and traditional media outlets now share the media stage with tweeters, bloggers, citizen journalists and anyone with a social media account.”

In Mobile Journalism, journalists use small connected devices such as Smartphones and Tablets to produce and edit audio, video, photos and multimedia stories for online and social media platforms.

These Media Women leaders were drilled in Mobile story telling, Podcasting, Data Journalism and Photography.

The bootcamp training which started on Friday, 25 January in Naivasha, Kenya, ended on Wednesday, 29 January.

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