News Editors have a crucial role to play in training and building the skills of poor writers so as to maintain high standards in journalism,Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology Information Secretary, Ms. Judy Munyinyi has said.
Ms. Munyinyi challenged editors to train reporters working under them to go beyond the traditional Five W’s and H when writing any news item and ensure facts are not just reported for the sake of filing a story but to make a difference in the lives of the target audience.
The Information Secretary was speaking yesterday at a Nairobi Hotel in a speech read on her behalf by acting Director of Information Mr. Gwaro Ogaro at the conclusion of two week course in advanced writing and editing at the University of Nairobi. Ten KNA Editors took part in the traning
While congratulating the ten who were presented with certificates, Munyinyi said Editors are key in ensuring that KNA effectively undertook its mandate of gathering, packaging and disseminating news and information to the Citizens of the country.
Editors do this by ensuring that KNA products are of good quality before disseminating them to subscribers through Departmental outlets, said Munyinyi.
It gives me pleasure to officiate at this important ceremony for KNA Editors. I take this early opportunity to congratulate the ten KNA Editors who successfully went through the two-week training on Advanced Writing and Editing, Munyinyi said.
She noted that accurate information disseminated in the right way, in a timely manner and within its context was crucial to ensuring that citizens were well-informed, thus able to undertake their various responsibilities for personal and national growth.
She said that the training objective was to enhance the writing and editing skills for the participants. It’s important that editors are good writers first before they can undertake the role of editing; this particular training was for ten out of twenty editors at the National Desk and there is need to train the other half to bring the entire team at par, she said.
Noting that the Ministry does not have a training programme tailor-made for Editors, Ms. Munyinyi called on the relevant departments to factor the training of the rest of the Editors in the Ministerial training budget as soon as possible.
When there is a deficit of Editors at the National Editorial Desk, field officers are deployed directly as Editors without undergoing specialized preparatory training; this is a matter that should be addressed as soon as possible, she noted.
The two week training programme was organized by the Department in collaboration with the University of Nairobi. This noble initiative has greatly enhanced the skills of those who have finished the course and should be the starting point for training programmes tailor-made for this important cadre to enhance their skills, she said.
She noted that through this training, the Editors have gained useful insights on how to treat stories that come from field officers. The training has also enhanced the Editors’ ability to guide reporters on best practices to ensure professionalism, she said.
Ms. Munyinyi said that collaborations such as this one between the Department of Information and the University of Nairobi is the new approach among entities with common goals and objectives and it is one way of ensuring that organizations achieve their objectives.
Speaking on the same occasion, Director of School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SOJMC) at the University of Nairobi Dr. Ndeti Ndati lauded the team which included retired Assistant Director of Information, Mr. Mani Lemayian and KNA Deputy Head, Mrs. Wangui Mugo who from 2015 tirelessly sold the idea of the training of Editors to the University.
We felt greatly honored, we still do because the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology took a keen interest in the School of Journalism; this partnership will continue as we engage in developing other training programmes, Dr. Ndati said.
He said that the recent technological advancement are changing the way news were handled, and media houses must reengineer their game plan if they are to remain relevant in a fast changing world.
Dr Ndati commended the team for exhibiting maturity when faced with various challenges that are associated with any new venture, such as the changing of venue due to the Industrial action at all public Universities that were resolved by tutoring the participants at the nearby Nairobi Safari Club (Lillian Towers).
We decided to save the limbs of you, as our students, and our members of staff. These were but teething problems that came our way but we surmounted them and the lessons learnt will help us improve our product, the Director said.
On his part, Mr. Ogaro commended his predecessor, the late Ms. Mary Ombara for spear heading the KNA Business Plan that heralded the birth of this training program. He led the gathering in observing a moment of silence in honour of the late public communication champion.
Source: Kenya News Agency