“The digital age has information in plenty; with stories breaking every hour. This has robed off journalism the monopoly of breaking news to the public. However, there is a growing hunger and thirst for insight that we must quench.” Christine Mungai, Mail & Guardian Business News Reporter, Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa Fellow.
The Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) kicked off its third cohort class on 25th of April 2016, with the inauguration ceremony being graced by over 30 journalists who will participate in the program.
The six-month executive training program is offered to journalists and mid-career professionals in business and civil society to strengthen their skills in capital markets, data analysis and enhance their knowledge in financial and economic reporting. The program is a core component of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa, (BMIA), which aims to accelerate development of a globally competitive media and financial reporting industry as well as promote transparency, accountability and good governance in Africa.
Paul Richardson, Bureau Chief for Kenya & East Africa at Bloomberg News, shared his experience in Data Journalism, illustrating the importance of accurate and reliable data which transcends to making informed decision. “The errors I made in my career in data journalism taught me that the story of numbers must be told accurately and hence sources of data must be credible, reliable and trustworthy.”
Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies with additional support from the Ford Foundation, the BMIA Executive Training Program brings together leading faculty from the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and five other preeminent business and journalism schools in Africa, including: Rhodes University School of Journalism in South Africa; the University of Lagos Department of Mass Communication and Radio, and the Pan Atlantic University Lagos Business School in Nigeria; Strathmore Business School and University of Nairobi, School of Journalism and Mass Communications in Kenya.
Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Vice Dean, Talent Development at Strathmore Business School encouraged Journalists to take a reflective walk during the program to refocus on the crucial role they play in the society. “Despite editorial regulations, journalists must define their artistic practice of telling stories which shift perspectives and approaches and make a difference in the lives of others.”
The program’s curriculum is approved by the Kenya Media Council, accreditation that the program units are in line with the Council’s practice and standards of journalism practice in Kenya. Dr. Harun Mwangi, CEO, Media Council of Kenya was also present during the inauguration ceremony.
Christine Mungai Business writer Mail & Guardian and a Bloomberg fellow from the inaugural class gave insights about the program and how her experience has shaped her reporting and analytical skills.
“We use prices to make ethical, rational and moral judgment. Although these decisions are implicit, they shape our decision making process. My journey as a fellow of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa has been forthcoming, in making me more sensitive to recognizing prices; where they are and what kind of impact and influence they have on our decision making process. It’s when we realise the prices around us, that we are able to better our analysis of information,” remarked Christine.