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Aga Khan University launches MA in Digital Journalism programme

By SILAS APOLLO February 16th, 2018 2 min read

The Aga Khan University on Thursday launched the Master of Arts in Digital Journalism programme at its Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) campus in Nairobi.

The programme, a first of its kind in the region and which began on January 29, has 25 journalists, who will learn the changing and emerging trends in the world of digital journalism.

They will also seek to build expertise in multi-platform storytelling, specialist reporting and editorial leadership.

Some of the students are Daily Nation’s assignments editor Dave Opiyo, Nairobi News editor Kenfrey Kiberenge, John Ngirachu (parliamentary editor), online sub-editors Faith Oneya and Valarie Koga and reporters Silas Apollo and Galgalo Bocha (Daily Nation) and Ann Okumu of NTV.

The MA programme aims to incorporate new techniques on digital technologies and will offer hands-on training in the school’s state-of-the-art radio and television studios in Nairobi.


By focusing on East African issues and drawing on local and global trends, students will possess the creativity, critical thinking skills and professional habits needed to lead EA’s media into the 21st Century.

The launch, whose chief guest was Standard Media Group’s broadcast division managing editor Joe Munene, drew deliberations on East Africa’s changing media landscape, focusing on the past, present and future of the media industry.

“The media houses must adopt a digital fast approach to enable them to be steadfast in breaking the news. I urge the media to adapt to the needs of the consumers, owing to their prominent position. Consumers today have an endless choice of information but what will save the media is quality and relevant journalism,” said Mr Munene.

Standard Media Group’s broadcast division managing editor Joe Munene. PHOTO | COURTESY
Standard Media Group’s broadcast division managing editor Joe Munene. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Aga Khan University president, Mr Firoz Rasul, said the program grew out of a need to transform the media and communications industry of the region.


“The MA in Digital Journalism programme fulfils His Highness the Aga Khan’s vision of nurturing a diverse, independent, innovative, ethical and economically thriving media and communications sector,” he said.

“The programme will prepare journalists to become leaders in their field whilst inculcating core values and essential employability qualities such as academic excellence and freedom, intellectual rigour, commitment and passion, ethical practice, and creativity and innovation. It combines real-life practice with academic rigor to develop the knowledge, skills and professional qualities for success at the highest levels,” Mr Rasul said.

Students’ rep Mercy Milanoi said the learners look forward to a transformative two years that they believe will have an impact not just in their lives, but also to their careers and journalism as a whole.

“We are delighted to be in the pioneer class of Master of Arts in Digital Journalism programme in this university,” she said.

“The 25 of us here are committed to contributing to the development of digital journalism not just in Kenya, but in the larger East African region.”