Sputnik News Agency eager to establish, strengthen media partnership with KBC

Written By: Eric Biegon

Sputnik's Vasily Pushkov (Left) & Mikhail Konrad during media workshop with KBC Journalists on 29/03/2020. KBC's Jared Ombui is on the screen (Top Right). PHOTO / SPUTNIK

Media executives from the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and Russia’s state-owned Sputnik News Agency and Radio, have welcomed the prospects of a partnership between the two institutions.

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Terming it a noble idea, Mr. Vasily Pushkov, the Director of International Cooperation for Sputnik News Agency noted that partnership is the way to go given that ‘the playing field in the journalistic profession has been leveled,’

He says this is particularly the case considering that media practitioners are currently facing similar or identical challenges irrespective of their geographical locations.

“We at Sputnik News Agency and Radio feel that it is crucial to strengthen lines of communication between media companies all around the world.” He said

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Speaking during a first-ever workshop for KBC journalists organized by the Russian news outlet on Monday, Mr. Pushkov stressed that collaboration is an important component in the growth of media, especially in the area of new technologies, content, and perspectives.

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“Our conversation with the KBC journalists has once again shown that there is much that we can learn from each other. And we are grateful to them for this opportunity.” He said

This view resonated well with that of Mr. Mikhail Konrad, the director of special projects at the agency, who disclosed that there are currently a lot of media projects being spearheaded by Sputnik. According to Konrad, these projects are diverse in nature and are worth taking an in-depth look at.

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“We are always happy to see new interest in our expertise coming from new countries. I hope that our relationship with Africa has only just begun.” He said

During the workshop, Konrad shared his expertise on Multimedia journalism practice, with a particular focus on leveraging digital tools and social media platforms to disseminate information.

The two Sputnik officials were however quick to point out that, contrary to a certain belief, this possible partnership was not an opportunity for Moscow to spread ‘propaganda’ across Kenya and Africa.

They said Sputnik News Agency would only serve as an alternative source of content, providing ‘a different view’ of events and occurrences.

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KBC Digital Manager Jared Ombui acknowledged Sputnik’s leadership for facilitating Monday’s training. Mr. Ombui expressed optimism that this collaboration will boost the public broadcaster’s program to develop and enhance its broadcasting services.

“This marks the start of a long-term partnership between KBC and Sputnik. We are confident that apart from the training, this will open doors to professional exchange, tooling of KBC and enhance people-to-people relations between Kenya and Russia” He remarked

41 journalists drawn from KBC Television, Radio, and Digital platforms participated in the virtual workshop.

So far, Sputnik has conducted several workshops for journalists in Africa including in Zambia, Mali, Togo, Ivory Coast among other countries.

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