Journalists undergo digital skills training

Oct 30, 2022

During the training, which was funded by the US Mission Uganda, the journalists were urged to use multiple elements of media, including audio, video, photos and graphics while reporting a story.

Nabumati leading a training session at Kabalega Resort Hotel in Hoima city on October 27, 2022

Steven Denis Matege
Multimedia Producer @New Vision

Many journalists are stuck to the old ways of gathering and disseminating news and are failing to exploit the opportunities that lie in the digitisation and digitalisation of their work. 

This is partly because they lack the tools in new media and do not have the capacity/know-how to reinvent themselves.

So, when Ultimate Media Consult sent out a call for journalists to apply for multimedia journalism and digital skills training on September 19, 2022, about 180 applied. 

The successful applicants have been undergoing a five-day training at the Kabalega Resort Hotel in Hoima city. 

Evolving in information age

The training, which ended on October 28, 2022, was premised on helping journalists appreciate the new media means of mass communication using digital technologies such as the Internet and mobile gadgets and how they can position themselves in the digital era to grow professionally and keep afloat.

“Journalism is the same, but the way it is being done and delivered is changing. Therefore, journalists have to move with the time,” trainer Enid Nabumati said during one of the sessions. 

During the training, which was funded by the US Mission Uganda, the journalists were urged to use multiple elements of media, including audio, video, photos and graphics while reporting a story.

“When audio, video, photos and graphics are used in combination, the story is more likely to be more appealing and will definitely get more views than one that uses only one element in isolation of others,” trainer Edward Tumusiime said during the multimedia storytelling and good journalism session.

Patricia Busingye, who trained a section of journalists with practical skills in graphic design, said journalists can enhance their content online through graphics.

Breakdown of information

When it comes to dealing with numbers, especially while reporting about elections, population census and reports dealing with many figures, Herman Nyanzi urged the journalists to use digital tools that break down the information for readers to easily grasp what is being reported.

Tumusiime skilled the journalists in search engine optimisation (SEO) and emphasised that without SEO, their content will be hard to find. Among the good practices of SEO is using links and hashtags.

Value added news

During the closure of the residential training, lead facilitator Gerald Businge said Ultimate Media Consult partnered with the US Mission Uganda to enhance value-added news, information and knowledge through the training of journalists, lecturers and journalism students.

US Mission lauded

Several journalists lauded US Mission Uganda for supporting the training with some saying that the training opened their eyes to the possibilities of their profession. 

“A friend encouraged me to apply at the last hour, but luckily enough, I got the opportunity to train in digital skills, which I was lacking,” Patricia Namutebi from Peace Journalism Uganda said.

On his part, Hannington Tumuhimbise of Vision Group’s TV West, promised to encourage his colleagues to embrace digital media more and look at opportunities of enterprising it.

US Mission Uganda was represented by spokesperson Tonny Kujawa and information assistant Dorothy Nanyonga.

Develop talent beyond training

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.

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.

“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.

Other 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.

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

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