DW Akademie in East Africa | Africa | DW | 01.03.2021
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DW Akademie in East Africa

As media houses grapple with the impact of COVID-19, advertising losses and digitization, DW Akademie, together with partners, is championing media viability and innovation with the Media Futures East Africa project.

Even prior to the coronavirus pandemic, many media organizations across the African content were struggling to provide unbiased, accurate and up-to-date news while at the same time remaining profitable. But rapid changes brought on by digitization have seen media houses having to either reduce output or go out of business.

Media viability can help change this and the ability of media organizations to adapt, develop and thrive while also producing quality journalism in a fast-changing world.  

Our activities

The Media Innovation Centre (MiC)
DW Akademie has partnered with the German development bank KfW and the Aga Khan University in Nairobi to develop the Media Futures East Africa project. The project supports media outlets in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in bolstering quality journalism and fostering media innovations that ensure sustainability. At the core of the project is the "Innovator-in-Residence" program - a flagship 12-month incubation and acceleration program held at the Aga Khan University's Media Innovation Centre (MiC). The program provides mentoring, training and coaching to selected media innovators from the region; experts guide them in turning their ideas into reality.

EAST – A community for media innovation
In addition, the MiC, Uganda's Media Challenge Initiative and Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) have developed the first virtual meet-up space for media innovations. Called the East African Storytelling (EAST), the platform seeks to showcase exciting content and works with East African partners and experts to explore new journalistic approaches. It offers online sessions, audio and visual content as well as groundbreaking articles, and aggregates the best content on innovative approaches to media viability.

Strengthening media outlets' sustainability
A pool of media viability consultants receive training in all aspects of media viability (political and economic landscapes, content production, community engagement, business models and governance) as well as the latest knowledge, skills and tools. Consultants then go out to small and medium-sized media outlets across East Africa and support them in identifying their own path towards sustainability.

In addition, The Media Futures EA Project, through the support of its partners, provides direct training to media houses in fields such as gender-sensitive reporting, fact-checking and social media optimization. 

Funding: Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)

Locations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda

Local partners: Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC),

Tanzania Media FoundationMedia Challenge Initiative Uganda

Focus: Quality, professionalism and financial substainability of the media sector, media viability, networking, innovation and involvement of the public

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