“I am not a prophet but with the coming of the 4th Industrial revolution, no one will be spared. Not the media houses will be spared, not other formal employment will be spared and the sad thing is some countries are still debating whether they should move or not move ahead with technology,” said Prof Bitange during his talk at the Media Innovation Center’s Inaugural Fireside Chat.
Held on September 26th, Professor Bitange Ndemo gave an insightful and eye opening talk on: “The nexus of technology, media and storytelling in the age of digital disruption and economic uncertainty”, terming it as a crucial engagement with the great discourse on the 4th Industrial revolution currently haunting the countries in Africa. The event, held at the Media Innovation Center, Peponi road, was meant to tackle the issue of digital disruption in the media industry.
Professor Ndemo touched on four key trends of the 4th industrial revolution; Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain, Big Data analytics and Internet of things. He stated that
“Journalism and innovative media content production will benefit from these four trends, and journalist, media professionals need to take advantage of these advances to remain competitive, viable and responsive to the needs of the citizenry,” he said.
Prof. Ndemo similarly mentioned that journalists should always do background checks to verify stories shared to them and not just report on the incidents. He gave an example of New York Times newspaper publishing criteria where a story would get up to five pages due to the intensity and work put into the story.
Compared to Kenya, many journalists give little to zero background checks due to the fact that sometimes media is used to propagate some stories removing the element of objectivity that dictates media role in the country. You role as the 4th estate is to look at facts and present the fact as they are. However, media removes the aspect of objectivity by propagating stories that are incorrect to favour someone’s agenda. Media should make use of Big Data, various sources where media can verify statements, to do evidence based investigative reporting where no one can dispute.’’
In his closing remarks, Prof Bitange encouraged media practioners to embrace the new technologies to tell our stories. He stated that media has abdicated their responsibility to the nation and they need to do more to tell accurate stories for the country through new and fun ways like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented reality.
Making her opening remarks, Director Media Innovation Center, Ms. Njoki Chege, pointed out on the need for a place where media innovation can be encouraged and grown. She similarly thanked the guests for attending.
“As a media Innovation Center, we are looking to provide a safe space for media innovators to innovate and create new and fresh fun ways to share media stories. We will do this through various trainings that focus on sharpening and teaching skills to media innovators and also through our Innovators-In-Residence program that is designed to incubate or accelerate media innovation ideas for the region.”
Ms. Chege similarly mentioned the various state of the art facilities that will be available at the Media Innovation Center plus world class coaches, mentors and professionals that will help bring Media Innovation into a reality for the region.
Held quarterly, the Fireside Chats will be a series of highly interactive talks in which exciting speakers will discuss topics around media, technology, storytelling, the business of news and the future of journalism. The invitees for these chats will mainly be media practitioners, academics, media entrepreneurs and journalism students who want to understand the opportunities afforded by digital tools and technologies. It will also be a great space to learn and network from exclusive invitees.
That’s why I think today is such a great space for us to sit back and reflect on the questions that could help us shape the kind of journalism that we want to see in our local and global community.
The report specifically analysed eight major variables which include: newsroom structure and resources, media ownership and business models, organisational capacity, innovation culture, journalism culture, financial trends and results, content quality and COVID-19.
Three media startups have graduated from the Innovators-in-Residence program when they pitched their ideas in a ‘demo day’ at the Media Challenge Initiative Hub in Uganda
The partnership will also ensure that local content is curated and distributed to better optimize the product and meet the needs of Kenyan online users.
The three-day event, held simultaneously in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, was crucial in taking the teams through the necessary dos and don’ts as well as introduce coaches, trainers and mentors that will walk with them through the programme and curriculum.
Our new talk series, #ConversationsAtMiC, seeks to explore and tackle issues, challenges, and opportunities within the media startup industry. The series aims to invite guests who would empower media startups to grow and develop further.
The Media Innovation Centre analyzed the applications to demonstrate the need for Media Innovation support in the region and a call to organisations, governments, and philanthropists to fund media start-ups in East Africa through grants.
Other than the grant, we saw it best to provide a vast set of trainings that will equip the founders with the necessary knowledge and skills to run their business.
The Media Innovation Centre (MiC) has today begun sifting through the 250 applications submitted for the 2020/2021 Innovators-In-Residence (IiR) program advertised early September.
The Aga Khan University (AKU) Media Innovation Center has announced a Ksh 6 million grant in support of three winning ideas across East Africa.
Corruption, Climate change, identity politics, the missed big stories and the coverage of societal issues at personal levels dominated the media diet in the year 2019.
The Aga Khan University (AKU) Media Innovation Center hosted interested media practitioners and individuals for a 3 day IP in Media and Journalism boot camp.