The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has rolled out a series of training sessions covering business and sports news to enhance professionalism among journalists in the country.
The training will be conducted under the Council’s Africa Media Academy, which focuses on development of training standards, building capacity of journalists and ensuring professional journalism practice, in line with the Council’s mandate to promote and enhance ethical and professional standards amongst journalists and the media enterprises.
MCK disclosed the training, when it announced grants to successful applicants for its reporting funding.
“The grants are part of the MCK’s interventions, geared towards improving media standards and professional growth, through training on specialized short courses on public interest issues,” the Council said.
The Council’s Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, David Omwoyo, noted that “while announcing the grants to support journalists covering health, sports, elections, business, governance, climate change and gender, the selection panel found majority of grant applications in the business and sports reporting categories as wanting in professionalism, creativity, and originality.”
The selection panel noted that the submissions lacked the sparkle that draws audiences or triggers public debates on the business environment in the country, policies and Kenya as an investment destination.
“As such, the panel pointed out that most story submissions were disquietingly similar, shallow and unquestioning and entrants missed out on the investigative aspect of journalistic practice,” it indicated.
The Council further noted that story submissions for the sports reporting category concentrated on issues previously covered in the hard news segments of media and failed the sporting opportunities and progress the country has made.
It added that story ideas missed proposals of analytical look at team and sportsmen performances.
“Sports stories proposed were revolving around financial scandals, which have already been covered previously in the hard news segments of the media. Applicants for sports reporting grants also failed to present investigative story topics in their proposals,” the panel noted.
The Council will, after the training, announce the call for applications for business and sports reporting grants that will be open to MCK-accredited journalists and media practitioners.
The successful applicants will receive grants to support travel, communication, research, and meals during data collection and writing of stories, adding that each grantee will work with the support of a mentor and undergo multiple training and skills upgrading sessions.
By Mwangi Gaitha