The Master class held at UoN, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication was conducted by Mr. Martin Smith, head of Audio Science at the BBC and it focused on the development of radio programs and the technical skills required.
During the interactive session, participating student’s garner insights and explored various core issues and challenges on the subject matter.
Mr Smith reminded the students on the core responsibility of producer. “The core responsibility of a producer is not to shape programs, develop content or come up with brilliant ideas, although that is part of the job, but it is to enable everyone else to do their best work,” he said.
“The reason why the BBC is able to celebrate 100 years of existence this year without and still be relevant is because our production is coined and fashioned on the three pillars of journalism.” Mr Smith explained to the students.
“The key to engaging in sound journalism and production by extension is to answer the how questions. How do I want the program to begin and end? How are you going to construct questions that will entice your interviewers to offer in depth information? How do you ensure that your audience stick to your program?” said Mr Smith, “ when you are able to master this art then you can move in and out of media spaces without being affected with the technological shift happening.”
Students were urged to exercise independent decision making when it comes to balancing their areas of interest and passion points vis a vis expectations from their mentors and other professionals in their day to day interaction.
As he wrapped up his presentation he emphasized to the students, “If you forget everything from this, remember to develop and produce content engulfed around the functions of journalism: to inform, educate and to entertain.”
While making final remarks, Mr Ogutu Oiye, the studio manager for the University of Nairobi Chanel (UNC TV and Radio) appreciated the students for their time.
“Thanks to this conversation we have participated in, we will be able to have a mind-set change, approach production with an open mind and produce relevant and sustainable programs that will ensure a dynamic shift on the programs we consume on a daily.”
The vote of thanks was offered by Kristen Maina a UoN broadcast journalism student.