Unveiling the Moral Compass: A Deep Dive into the Ethical Terrain of Media Practices

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Dr. Esther Muthoni King’ori has a rich background in media studies dating back to her days in the newsroom. Her journalism career has seen her work with renowned institutions like Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and Royal Media Services. She has reported news from the courts, parliament, the general beat, and even been a news editor. 

Given her career background, Esther’s research interests lie within media and communication. Her keen focus is on the ethical dimensions of media practice, the profound impact of media framing on societal conversations, and the portrayal of diverse groups within the media landscape, particularly minorities and vulnerable groups. 

Her transition to academia was fueled by an intrinsic passion for scholarly pursuits. As she delved deeper into her academic pursuits, Esther realized the crucial synergy between comprehensive research and compelling storytelling – a critical aspect of journalism that she had honed during her professional years.

Her academic pursuits evolved alongside her journalistic experiences. She initiated part-time teaching while still engaged in her journalism career, progressively transitioning to full-time academia. This transition was not only an organic progression but a conscious choice driven by her commitment to rigorous scholarly work and mentoring students with the expertise she had acquired.

 

Esther, who is a lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences is engaged in diverse research endeavors, showcasing her commitment to both her academic role and her passion for exploring nuanced dimensions of media. Collaborating with colleagues and former students, she has actively contributed to book chapters and publications addressing critical issues such as media framing and its societal repercussions, shedding light on cybercrime’s implications for journalistic freedom.

Balancing the manifold responsibilities of a lecturer, a researcher, and nurturing a personal life involves meticulous planning and intentional time allocation. Her strategy includes structuring her schedule around teaching commitments, mentoring students, and dedicating time for research, while also acknowledging the importance of personal well-being through activities like running, which serve as a means of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Strathmore University, with its strong emphasis on research, has been instrumental in facilitating Esther’s scholarly pursuits. The institution’s supportive ecosystem has provided avenues to attend conferences, collaborate with colleagues for joint presentations, and utilize platforms like the Research Management System (RMS) for streamlined research dissemination.

 

Envisioning Strathmore’s direction in research for the forthcoming years, Esther expresses optimism, foreseeing a continued emphasis on fostering academic growth through platforms like RMS and further recognition of scholarly endeavors.

When reflecting on her research accomplishments, she highlights the establishment of a blog aimed at enhancing writing skills among students, and numerous publications across diverse topics in Media Studies. One recent major accomplishment was her role in organizing a World Press Freedom Day webinar in collaboration with global entities like UNESCO and Amnesty International. The webinar was organized by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

However, navigating academia and research has not been without its challenges. Juggling multiple roles often means striking a delicate balance between teaching, research, and personal commitments. She underscores the importance of disciplined time management and the necessity of taking breaks to prevent burnout.

 

Peering into the future of Media Studies, Esther underscores the undeniable influence of technology on communication. From the transformation of journalistic practices due to social media and the rise of citizen journalism to the overarching impact of AI on human communication. She emphasizes the need to preserve the unique essence of human communication amid technological advancements.

In offering guidance to aspiring researchers, Esther emphasizes the value of curiosity, intense reading, continuous writing, seeking guidance from mentors, and fostering collaborative relationships within academic circles.

 

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu

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