The Media Council of Kenya has Thursday launched the Industrial Placement Programme for journalism students in Kenya.
During the launch, Media Council CEO David Omwoyo said many young people in Kenya are unable to access internships to enable them gain industry experience. “We have a major internship crisis in this country and this calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders”.
He further urged media houses to take up the journalism students adding that the Council will facilitate their placements. “It is not fair for a student to pay school fees and then being asked to pay for an internship to gain industry experience”.
“Industrial placement of journalism graduates will expose them to experience and enabling them to perform better in the real media work while some can even start their own media enterprises,” said Omwoyo.
Echoing what the CEO had said, MCK Director for Media Training and Development Victor Bwire called for measures to address the rife internship crisis in Kenya.
“We must unclog this capacity development challenge where students complete their course work but are unable to graduate due to lack of internship. We will create linkages between industry and academy to allow industries and academy to adapt competency-based training,“ he said.
Roselyn Ombala who is an MCK Council member on her part affirmed the Council’s commitment to promote and enhance ethical and professional standards amongst journalists and media enterprises in Kenya through development of training standards to build their capacity.
Also speaking at the function was the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru who said media performance remains under constant scrutiny over the professional conduct of its personnel and the burden of expectation placed on the industry because of its central role in society.
The CS urged journalists to remain impartial in their operations noting that “the media is a key pillar that should hold others accountable, not because you have an agenda you are trying to achieve, but because you have a higher calling to be the voice of the people.
“The media have the power and a huge responsibility to the populace to not only keep them informed and entertained but to also shape political discourse and guide them in making the right socio-economic and political decisions,” Mucheru added.
In conclusion, the CS acknowledged the challenges young people face in accessing jobs after graduating from college due to lack of skills to undertake competent media work. ” There is need for skilling our journalism graduates with requisite industry skills”.