By Edna Mwende
Luminate, a global philanthropic organisation, has invested Ksh100 million in a new media lab that aims at boosting the capacity of journalists and publishers to report in the public interest.
The media lab christened, Baraza Media Lab is expected to open by the end of the year and will provide Kenyan journalists, publishers, and media entrepreneurs a dedicated physical space to strengthen collaboration, networks and skills.
Luminate according to a news report by the Business Daily will run the lab-which will be located at Keystone Park in Riverside, Nairobi-in partnership with Metta, an innovation and entrepreneurship’s hub.
“We believe that supporting a vibrant media eco-system in Kenya is critical. We look forward to working with the community and other partners as we build something transformative,” said Ory Okolloh, Managing Director at Luminate as quoted by the Business Daily.
Metta Nairobi General Manager Maurice Otieno on the other hand noted that his company has built solid communities and will be transferring the same experience in building a more vibrant and engaged media community.
A 2018 research report by Reboot found that the key challenges facing Kenya’s media ecosystem include a lack of innovation among media organisations, skills gaps among media practitioners, weak networking between media and aligned sectors and downsizing at major media houses.
The Business Daily report that the lab aims to help solve these challenges by taking a bottom-up approach, focused on meeting the immediate needs of journalists and media stakeholders.
“The Baraza Media Lab launch marks a watershed moment in the push to strengthen media freedom and independence in Kenya,” said Churchill Otieno, President of the Kenya Editor’s Guild.
Mr. Otieno added that the Lab is envisioned to serve as a catalyst to rekindle strong skills development and ultimately have a stronger independence in the media sector.
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