Universities Urged to Incorporate Mental Health in the Journalism Curriculum

Mr. David Omwoyo CEO Media Council of Kenya and Ms. Elizabeth Wangui Thiga from Corporate Communications Office JKUAT pose for a Commemorative Photo

JKUAT, Corporate Communications Office, joined other stakeholders in the media industry during the 2022 Media Summit held on Thursday, May 6 at Safari Park hotel in Nairobi to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.

Panel discussions held during the Summit between journalists, nongovernmental organizations, and representatives from higher education revealed the critical need to incorporate core units on mental health in order to prepare students for the newsroom environment, where challenging conditions can trigger or exacerbate mental health conditions.

While echoing other journalists, Ms. Juney Karisa, a panelist from Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and a JKUAT alumna, shared her experience during the second-panel session, stating that it was imperative to prioritize mental health, especially in the post-COVID season, to enable journalists to cope with changes such as pay cuts and job loss.

Ms. Juney Karisa from KBC during the Media Summit

The discussions also focused on artificial intelligence as well as the effects of surveillance on the safety of journalists when covering development-related stories such as those on innovations, wildlife conservation, and the environment.

To that end, experts such as John Allan Namu of Africa Uncensored advised all content creators to be vigilant, and always exercise the paramount act of logging off of public Wi-Fi networks in order to protect their data and confidential content.

The annual event, which was organized by the Media Council of Kenya, was attended by Ms Ito Misako, UNESCO Africa Advisor for Communication and Information in Africa, Dr Evangeline Njoka CEO Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. David Omwoyo, CEO Media Council of Kenya, among others.

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