The three-day workshop, convened by the Sub-Sahara Media Programme of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), featured participants from universities in 10 different African countries and was facilitated by Nixon Kariithi, a renowned business journalist and former media studies professor at the University of Witwatersrand.
He said: “Business Journalism needs to be meaningful to those it serves; while it is important to understand global politics and trends, we need to be training young journalists to focus on producing relevant local content that connects with various cultures and shows a human face.”
Over the past few years, KAS Media Africa has been working with a number of reputable African journalism schools to meet the challenge of improving business and economics journalism education. The group, representing universities in Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe has been focused on either updating or introducing new business reporting courses.
KAS Media Africa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each of the universities offering support for the development and introduction of the Business Journalism courses.
The workshop covered complex pedagogical and philosophical issues with Kariithi challenging the group to rethink not only the structure and strategy of media coverage on the continent, but also the current relationships with state and national institutions and the private sector and the role of media as national institutions themselves.
The workshop inspired participants to collaborate in conducting research in the field of business reporting, either for a book or a special journal edition. The latter could remedy the shortage of published papers and academic resources in this area and offer inspiration for their students to pursue a career in the specialisation.