Digital Storytelling has changed the way in which newsrooms collect, processes and publishes stories and the use of multimedia is playing a key role in the future of innovative news coverage. It is because of these developments that WIN saw the need to develop in-country skills for the benefit of not only the media houses that have embraced the use of different media platforms, but also for its Future Leaders Initiative.
The workshop, which focused on Digital Storytelling and was held in Nairobi, Kenya in late February, aimed to groom participants to become peer-trainers in their local markets.
Suzgo Khunga from Malawi, sees herself playing an important role in improving her media house’s online presence. She wants to guide young female journalists by showing them the many ways in which a story can be told using digital platforms.
“I will mentor upcoming female journalists who feel that writing for a newspapers is too demanding by showing them that there are many ways in which stories can be told that are exciting by taking full advantage of the available digital platforms”, said Khunga.
The participants of the training were drawn from Botswana, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya, and were introduced to various digital storytelling tools. During the four-day intensive training they covered both the theoretical and practical aspects of how they can creatively use video, photography and social media to tell impactful stories. They were also coached on training techniques, so they can in turn conduct training sessions with their peers back home.
Tikhala Chibwana, Director for Women in News in Africa explains that the digital storytelling training course is part of internal capacity building for the WIN Chapters across Africa. “We have challenged these new trainers to champion digital storytelling in their own countries. We will monitor them closely and support them to ensure many more benefit from this exciting programme”, he says.
Each workshop participant will be tasked with leading a series of workshops on the subject of digital storytelling in their local markets to both their peer group, as well as the journalism students who are enrolled in the Future Leaders programme. After the training, the eight women were impatient to implement what they had learnt and to share the knowledge within their newsrooms.
The Future Leaders Initiative is a mentoring programme that brings together young women journalism students with participants of the WIN programme as a way of encouraging young journalists to commit to the profession. The Digital Storytelling programme will help enrich the Future Leaders programme, where they will be introduced to digital storytelling and begin to appreciate the demands of the modern newsroom even before finishing their journalism studies.
The newly crowned trainers are now well equipped with knowledge that will help them advance as well as information about the changes in the news gathering process. Having skilled female journalists who can choose effective, entertaining storytelling techniques from an array of multimedia options is therefore key in contributing to the journalism of the future.