In an era where storytelling is constantly evolving, how do you seamlessly engage content creators, media eco-system, and sustainability enthusiasts to become better at their craft? That’s a question near and dear to the MCI Media Viability Talks.
We organized the first edition of the talks at the MCI Media Hub on 26th May 2021 to encourage more media innovators to persist in growing their ventures despite the several barriers they face as they strive to keep their businesses adrift. These challenges could involve access to funding, unfavorable investment policies and regulations, technical know-how, building a winning team, and many others.
The MCI Media Viability Talks took a deep dive into media innovation with the goal of information for public good with a spotlight on different innovators that are running platforms and producing news and content that is relevant to the public well-being. These innovators from multifaceted media backgrounds shared their storytelling techniques, content strategies and business models with a few invited guests. This was aimed at creating awareness and action around critical issues in society.
Under the stalwart of Moses Kiboneka – popularly known as Uncle Mo, a Ugandan automotive engineer, actor, media personality, and content creator – Loukman Ali, a filmmaker and one of the event’s speakers, emphasized the need for Ugandan content creators to invest in and create quality productions that can be readily consumed outside the borders of the Pearl of Africa. He insisted that it is one way to compete on a global scale. This way, Ugandan content will be able to catch the eye of the big video-on-demand (VOD) platforms like Netflix to pay attention so they can start investing in local content production.
“As storytellers, we have to be intentional & conscious about the language we use because stories are all about language and it impacts the interpretation and perception of the story,” emphasized Samuel Songa-Stone Mwesigwa, another speaker.
His brainchild, STORYTeld, is an independent media collective with a dynamic approach to journalism that offers an alternative to the mainstream media. They highlight societal issues that are often underreported and give a voice to communities and issues often pushed to the margin.
Caleb Okereke of Minority Africa said that “We measure impact by feedback we get about our stories since numbers usually derail us towards content creation. We are a slow newsroom that publishes more of the background of the story than break it.” Minority Africa is in the current cohort of the Innovators in Residence Program. They do data-driven storytelling around minority communities such as albinos, sexual minorities, and others, mostly in Africa.
During the MCI Media Viability Talk, the media innovators also shared the various methods they have used to stay afloat while producing content for public good during the unprecedented times of the pandemic. The day ended with a networking session serenaded by band music from the Titan Band.
If you missed out, the videos of the talks will soon be uploaded to the MCI YouTube channel. The MCI Media Hub will host two more Media Viability talks before the year is done, and several other activities around the subject so look out for those if this is your area of interest.