The Media Challenge Initiative( MCI) on Sunday February 16, 2020 concluded the first week of the 3rd edition of the annual Media Challenge Fellowship, an aggressive multimedia journalism training program awarded to the 26 best-performing students from 12 Universities who took part in the Inter-University Media Challenge (IUMC).
The fellowship program — conducted in partnership with Konrad Adenuer Stiftung Uganda and South Sudan, DW Akademie, The German Cooperation, United States Mission in Uganda and the European Union — is part of MCI’s strategic vision of building the next generation of journalists (#NextGenJournalist).
Like the previous two (2) classes, the 2020 fellows are expected to go through a five-week rigorous training and mentorship, facilitated by both local and international captains of the media industry. The experts will bequeath participants with skills in online, radio, television, photography, data, immersion and investigative journalism.
The initiation week, dubbed “Foundations and Multimedia Skills” commenced on February 11, 2020 and ended on February 17. The week was a cocktail of training, guest speaker presentations, field assignments and fun-filled energizer drills prepared by facilitators to help participants brace themselves for the busy and daunting media schedule while remaining stress free and mentally afloat.
Addressing participants DW Akademie -Uganda Country Director, Mirjam Gehrke applauded the practical and hand-on training program, saying it was at the heart of progressive journalism and the changing media environment.
“(As DW Akademie) we were very amazed by this concept of the Media Challenge Fellowship program … this concept and the approach of practical skills-training for new journalists with the goal of building the next generation of journalists … is a very successful and ambitious project. We are very happy to support it,” she said.
On his part, the outgoing country representative of Konrad-Adanauer Stiftung, Mathias Kamp, who topped the guest-speaker list took participants to lecture with a mind-provoking presentation titled “The Intersection Between Media, Democracy and Development.”
Kamp, an ardent supporter of the MCI’s “#NextGenJournalist programs was also treated to a surprise a gift pack which included among other things his a painted portrait as MCI’s staff bid farewell to the supportive, friendly and unassuming guru. He tipped the budding journalists about their assumed duty to society.
“An active and informed citizenry is key for the survival of any democracy. The professional media have an important role in contributing to this, especially in times of populism and disinformation. We need credible and professional journalists now more than ever,” Kamp said.
Other guest speakers included UBC Managing Director Maurice Mugisha, journalists Solomon Sserwanja and Raymond Mujuni. Local media industry captains including; NBS’s Canary Mugume, NTV’s Arnold Segawa, New Vision’s Carol Ariba, Media 256 Linda Kagechi, Daily Monitor’s Carol Beyanga and seasoned writer and activist Dismas Nkunda facilitated training sessions and prepared participants for the tasks ahead of them.
MCI’s Chief Executive Abaas Mpindi and Director of Training Antonio Kisembo led the way in bequeathing participants with subjects including solution journalism and mobile journalism.
Fellows also showcased skills in news presentations every morning in the MCI Mobile Studio on the sidelines of the fellowship. They are expect to return in March for the next seven-day session.