The journalists, trainers and US Mission Uganda staff in a photo moment on October 28, 2022.
Steven Denis Matege
Journalist @New Vision

JOURNALISTS | MEDIA | TRAINING

In the beginning, the town crier was the only one in media journalism. Later, newspapers came and were followed by TV and radio to make the journalism trinity, which rendered the town crier extinct. 

However, the trinity got an adversary when the Internet came around.

Comes the Internet

With the advent of the Internet, came social media, chat rooms, blogs, news sites, personal websites, podcasts and video opportunities. 

The result has come to be known as new media journalism, which has rattled media organisations and drastically affected their incomes.

Call to embrace revolution

So, for traditional media houses (TV, radio, print) to survive the impact of social media on their relevance and finances, journalists say, they (media houses) have to embrace the digital and digitalisation revolution.

The journalists are worried that they might not be able to earn from their profession unless their employers invest in digitisation of their operations.

The call was made by over 25 journalists from several media houses from central, western and northern Uganda on October 28, 2022, at Kabalega Resort Hotel in Hoima city. 

Journalists brainstorm during the training.

Journalists brainstorm during the training.

This was during the closure of a five-day multimedia and digital skills training conducted by Ultimate Media Consult and supported by US Mission Uganda.

Patrick Uma (Chimp Reports/ Gangwa News) and Birungi Harriet (Radio West) presented recommendations from their colleagues from a discussion about how the media houses can promote digitalisation, multimedia and digital journalism. 

To benefit from the digital revolution, journalists said, media houses have to, among others, embrace multimedia reporting, invest in equipment (modern camera, tripods, computers, laptops, etc), training of journalists in digital skills, employing enough human resources.

Other recommendations were partnering with huge multimedia houses/ companies, renumerating journalists well, establishing fact-checking desks to fight fake news and allowing their reporters to attend other training opportunities.

“I would not have been able to attend this training had my supervisor not recommended me,” Hannington Tumuhimbise of Vision Group’s TV West said.

Akullu Lydia Felly from Daily Monitor Publications accused some editors of refusing to embrace the digital revolution and dampening efforts by reporters to report multiplatform (Radio, website, TV and print).

Some of the journalists enjoy a light moment during the training.

Some of the journalists enjoy a light moment during the training.

“Media houses should provide refresher courses in multimedia and digital skill for their reporters to add value to their products,” Birungi said during the presentation.

The journalists, facilitators and US Mission staff at the event agreed that without embracing new media, media houses are bound to fold.

Follow the customer

US Mission spokesperson Tonny Kujawa urged the journalists to develop their talents beyond the training they had undergone because they have an important role in Uganda and globally.

“You have to be reporting using these multiple platforms in the way that people are consuming news and information for the future,” he said.

The training ended with the awarding of certificates to all the journalists who took part in the training.

Use skills to generate income

US Mission assistant spokesperson Dorothy Nanyonga said many journalism training institutions in Uganda do not train their students in multimedia and digital skills. 

She, therefore, urged the journalists to make use of the skills they had learnt to further their profession through filing multimedia stories.

Patrick Uma

Patrick Uma

“If we are going to make revenue out of your stories, it has to be a fully packaged one. So, exploit these skills and also teach fellow journalists how to file multimedia stories,” she said.

Beneficiaries of venture

The journalists who benefitted from the training, included those from Vision Group (Radio West, Bukedde, New Vision, TV West, Wan Luo TV, Radio Rupiny), Manti Media, Kings Broadcasting Services, Next Media, Mega FM, Kazi-Njema, Insight Post, Uganda and Kagadi Broadcasting Services.

Others were from Kabarole Research and Resource Center, Scooper News, Jubilee Radio Fort Portal Catholic Diocese, Peace Journalism Uganda, Spice Media Services, Chimp Reports, Voice of Toro, Radio Pacis [Gulu and Moyo] and Monitor Publications Ltd.

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