The University had the privilege of hosting Dr. Peter Day from Brighton University United Kingdom. A Senior Lecturer at the School of Arts & Media and Director and Founder Community Media 4 Kenya (CM4K). Dr. Day’s public lecture is his second visit to Kibabii University after he visited the institution in April 2023. He is a seasoned Scholar in Journalism with a bias in Community Media for Social Change, Communications for Development and Community Radios and Community Networking.
Addressing the participants at the start of the lecture the Acting Chair of English, Language, Journalism & Mass Communication Department Dr. Kennedy Njasi expressed his gratitude to Dr. Day for finding time to visit the institution again to share his invaluable knowledge with our students. This was a clear indicator that the University is investing in ensuring that students are adequately grounded with knowledge and skills. Media is growing and dynamic and we try to find areas needing our attention and community radio is one such initiative. This lecture will impress on our learners that media is not all about cameras but answer the question of how journalists can have an impact in our various communities said Dr. Njasi.
In his opening remarks the Dean of FASS Dr. Ben Nyongesa thanked Dr. Day for making Kibabii University his home and being on call to share his wealth of knowledge and experience in media with not only our students but also the Faculty. The Dean expressed his joy at the fruits that are coming out of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Kibabii University and Brighton University that among others would see members of Faculty and students from the two institutions engaging in an exchange programme. The Dean informed the audience that Dr. Day will be joining the Faculty from September 2024 as part of this programme which will greatly benefit students of Journalism and Mass Communication as we also expect students from Brighton University to come over and our students and colleagues in Journalism to visit their institution. To keep up with the changing dynamics in the media industry Dr. Nyongesa informed members that the Faculty is keeping tabs on the changing trends and introduction of current content in our curricular is always ongoing. Currently the interest in Community Media, Sports Journalism and Environmental Journalism has been captured in the revised curriculum. Media is not just about reporting or informing of incidents but goes past that and offer solutions to the problems and challenges facing the Community.
Introducing his lecture Dr. Peter Day thanked the Institution and the Faculty for the warm welcome which he received on his first visit making this second one seamless. He expressed his excitement at the fact that in the September he will be joining the Faculty and looked forwarded to a fruitful engagement. He informed the session that it’s the media that sets the social, economic, political and cultural agenda through dissemination of news. This makes the media a very powerful tool as it frames conversations not only at a local but also a global stage. Even though the media does this we shouldn’t take everything as facts from the media without thinking critically.
Community Radio is a radio service offering a third model of radio servicing geographical communities and communities of interest by offering content that is popular and relevant to a local and specific audience but is often overlooked by mainstream media. Community Radio was formed as a participatory media to democratize media and the political landscape embracing attempts to decolonize the media. Community Radio has evolved since 1900 through four distinctive eras with its main objective being to allow communities tell their own stories said Dr. Day. It has achieved the goal of giving communities a platform to have their voices heard, addressing local issues and promoting diversity and inclusivity among communities.
The public lecture which was attended by students taking Journalism and Mass Communication presented an interactive session where our students were able to be taught on community radio, the functions of community radio and how as journalists our students can use their training and skills to have a positive impact on the community.