Earlier this week, the Media Innovation Studio’s George Ogola and Paul Egglestone handed over a number of laptops to The African Woman and Child Features Service (AWC), a Nairobi-based non-governmental organisation. AWC are working to develop an African media sector committed to diversity, gender equality, social justice and development. The laptops will be used to help equip a series of content bureaus in East Africa.
Ogola and Egglestone are in Kenya leading students from the School of Journalism, Media and Digital Communication as they explore African media as part of the highly successful UCLan Student Travel Bursary scheme. Whilst in Nairobi they dropped into AWC to deliver the laptops and catch up with friends at AWC.
Paul Egglestone said: “It’s great to be back in Kenya and working with AWC again. East Africa is a fascinating place to be practicing journalism and the laptops we’ve donated will be well used in community news bureaus across Tanzania and down in Mombasa”
As well as supporting community journalists working in the field to produce stories for Kenya’s citizens, the laptops will enable them to create and share stories with the UK on the School of Journalism, Media and Digital Communication’s news website, the ‘Hotpot’.
Both Egglestone and Ogola are keen to develop connections between 14 community content centres and UCLan’s staff and students. George Ogola, a native Kenyan who teaches journalism at UCLan, said: “Linking the bureaus to our website will help us keep in touch with stories from East Africa on an almost daily basis. We hope that students will develop a real appetite for what’s happening in Kenya and maybe even develop a few connections of their own through this initiative.”
The pair plan to continue working with AWC to run community journalism training workshops alongside classes for professional journalists. These classes will cover subjects ranging from peace journalism and ethical issues to reporting on minorities.
As well as producing research on issues affecting local communities, AWC are involved in training investigative journalists and community reporters; monitoring media outputs in Kenya as well as keeping an eye on the Government. They’re also great at sharing what they do – whether that’s at international conferences or United Nation’s Summits.
Paul Egglestone added: “We share many of AWC’s values here at UCLan so it’s a really good partnership – and Kenya is such a beautiful place it’s difficult not want to return again and again.”