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Safaricom Business Journalist Fellowship: Building on Quality Business News Reporting

Strathmore Business School in a strong collaboration with Safaricom Limited launched the inaugural Safaricom Business Journalists Fellowship (SBJF), a one-year mid-career course. This program equips promising and talented business journalists with the technical know-how in the field of business and finance, whilst training hand in hand with Kenya’s leading business lecturers and newsmakers in the region.

Addressing the audience during the launch, Professor John Odhiambo – VC Strathmore University, pointed out the great imbalance between the business game changers and the journalists, highlighting the knowledge inadequacies which have befallen journalists in the business field. This does not only put the journalist at a disadvantaged position, but also makes opaque the window through which the society looks into as a source for information. In his remarks he stipulated the importance of the business journalists to be well equipped with the field expertise, amidst analytic knowledge, so as to show the country’s potential and open more doors to investment.

The Director of Corporate Affairs Safaricom, Mr. Nzioka Waita in his remarks, took the liberty to probe journalists on the rather shallow reporting of business and financial news. He pointed out on the essence of asking the hard questions such as: Could the global financial crisis of 2008 have been avoided had leading business commentators taken a critical look at the happenings? Do business journalists have the relevant editorial gravitas? Could the collapse of leading stock brockage firms and parastatals in Kenya over the last two decades have been averted, among other questions. This questions point out the crucial roles played by business and financial journalists in driving the social and economic progress for any developing country.

In his key-note address,Mr. Bob Collymore- Safaricom’s CEO explained Safaricom’s interest in financial journalism, which he hopes will be accomplished through the SBJF program.  “As the largest, and most successful service provider in the region, Safaricom expectedly has keen interest in the quality of financial reporting in Kenya and this is an interest we share with our collaborator; the renowned and prestigious Strathmore Business School. The intention of this program is to give journalists an opportunity to sharpen their skills and perfect the complexity of their craft”, he said.

He also mentioned Kenya’s huge potential for growth in consumer marketing, highlighting brief demographics which will largely dictate real-life business opportunities.  

The program will admit 15 of the most promising candidates in the first year, who will be taken through 3 modules whereby each module will contain four days of intense training. The course will also have nine integral half-day workshops spread over the nine months. To spice up the program, journalists will also be hosted to dinner events where they will mingle with the leading newsmakers in Kenya.

Safaricom Business Journalists Fellowship is a step towards realizing a goal of quality journalism.

For more information about the program , Click here