The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Launched a webinar series themed ‘Media and Communication Research and Training in Kenya: Past, Present and Future Reflections’, July 1, 2022.
The Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Prof. Ephraim Wahome before he ushered the keynote speaker posed a very critical question to the participants, “where would the University of Nairobi be if the department that is in charge of communication strategically placed itself for global impact?”
The keynote speaker, Prof. Margaret Hutchinson, Associate Vice Chancellor Research, Innovation and Enterprise(AVC,RIE) congratulated the department saying, “DoJMC has a long history of partnership and has been instrumental in placing the University of Nairobi in the industry level. However, there have been gaps in terms of publication and it is paramount that the chairmen of the department, Dr. Silas Oriaso and his team have decided to carry out this webinar series. ”
In her speech, Prof. Hutchinson urged the participants to look at the department and how it can impact UoN and the globe in the industry. “No one needs to tell you that Communication and media is everything.”
Additionally, she emphasized the need to answer the question, ‘how can communication be responsive to the changes in our society,’ as they tackle media and communication research training in Kenya.
As a cross cutting department, DoJMC should create a space for themselves to ensure that they strategically place themselves with other global thought leaders who are causing positive impact to the society.
Prof. Hutchinson said, “Low publication shows that the department is not in the frontier of the rapid changes happening both technologically and academically in the global space. When you do not publish optimally it means that the department is depriving the UoN brand of its potential for global visibility.”
The AVC RIE, emphasized the need for the members of the faculty to take a systemic approach by looking at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to strategically position themselves as a global thought leader in matters media and communication research.
The webinar was officially launched by the AVC RIE, Prof. Hutchinson and it paved the way for discussions from Prof. Wambui Kaiai, Associate Professor, DoJMC, Prof. Muiru Ngugi, Senior Lecturer, DoJMC and Prof. George Nyabuga, Associate professor, DoJMC who were speakers during the launch webinar.
While looking back on how far the department has come, Prof. Ngugi particularly highlighted on the introduction of PhD in Communications at UoN which ushered the then SoJMC into the research era and consequently to a future where training will be based on both tact and social changes in the society.
Prof. George Nyabuga commended the department in ensuring that they take researchers through a rigorous process to ensure that the research output adheres to the University of Nairobi standards. However, he said, “there is still need for the department to increase its research and research output through strengthening both student and staff research and output through projects and dissertation defenses.