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15 NEWSROOM MANAGERS ATTEND ‘MANAGING CONFLICT IN TODAY’S NEWSROOM’ COURSE IN NAIROBI, KENYA

Newsroom Managers from Across the African Continent Meet to Share Experiences and Gain Insight

In November 2022, KAS Media Africa and the Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) at the Aga Khan University conducted their first conflict management in newsrooms course held in Nairobi, Kenya. 15 Newsroom managers from Zimbabwe, Uganda, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, The Gambia, Rwanda and Malawi, beat out over 150 applicants from the continent to be part of the first cohort of the course.

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Experts from newsrooms across the continent facilitated the week-long course in conflict areas such as ethics, mental health for journalists, gender dynamics, inter-generational relations and newsroom politics. Facilitators included interim Dean of the GSMC, Dr Nancy Booker, KAS Media Africa Director, Christoph Plate, and senior journalists Joseph Warungu, Wangethi Mwangi, Dapo Olorunyomi and Joeph Odindo.

The course addressed a critical need for managers who are consistently faced with a myriad of challenges outside of delivering a quality product. As part of his main takeaways, Richard Bishumba of Rwanda noted that “managing conflict in the newsroom starts with managing myself”, while Wezie Nyirongo of Malawi noted that poor communication between management and the staff can demoralise and cripple a newsroom.

The dynamic group indeed reflected today’s newsroom in gender, age and expertise, and came from both traditional newsrooms and digital. Practical case studies were implemented by facilitators and participants had opportunity to interact with one another, facilitators and important conflict situations.

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