Monday, August 13, 2012

Press conference in Kibera

by Thomas Bwire

The weather is cool today and in the outdoor courtyard of the Uweza center, journalism club members are having their session.  Seated on the brown benches and listening attentively are some of the members as they watch representatives of their groups engaging in a press conference exercise.

Today's session includes 32 participants. As part of their learning experience, the session is aimed at enhancing their skills as journalists in the near future and providing an example of what they can undergo should they find themselves in a media press conference.

Journalism Instructor Thomas gives instructions to a team of reporters
First they got to know what a press conference is: press conference is a media event in which news makers invite journalists to hear them speak and, most often, ask questions depending on the topic at hand.

Our press conference was held by club members acting as researchers.  Club members were divided into groups acting as journalists and each group chose representatives tasked with asking questions. The exercise required maximum participation for each group to earn points. The researchers played the role of explaining in detail their research findings on a controversial topic at hand touching on the social aspect of life. This topic was: “Annoying habits that women dislike in men.”

The press conference set up
Prior to the exercise, everyone had an opportunity to read through newspaper cuttings on the topic and get an idea of what the press conference was all about. Once this was accomplished in 20 minutes, each reporter armed questions challenged the researchers to explain their point of view.  The exercise turned out to be like a real media event as some of the reporters proved their interview skills as they kept questions coming on board.

A team of reporters follows through the presentations
Strong points emerging from the press conference were some of the major reasons women don’t like in men like heavy drinking and abandoning children, among many other issues. It was truly an eye opener as all the students had a hands on experience at the end of the session on what it takes to prepare for a press conference, should they find themselves in such a situation.

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