Friday, August 31, 2012

The Digital Day

by Rebecca Musanga and Sharon Akinyi

No tree grows from the air to the ground, it all starts from the ground firmly anchored with roots for support. To prove this statement right, we as the Uweza Journalism members visited Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) on 30th August 2012 to get a better understanding of one of the oldest media houses in Kenya.

In the bus on the way to KBC studios
Before changing their name to KBC it was previously known as (VOK) Voice Of Kenya. VOK was the first broadcasting station in Kenya under the state. Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed and taken through the different departments and stations. First we went to the radio station called KBC Radio Taifa where we met Asha Juma who is a radio presenter doing what she does best as she explained to us more about being a presenter. She had three computers in front of her desk.  “One is for research, another for airing the station’s commercials and the last one for backing up information just in case we have failures with our system,” noted Asha Juma.She uses a fader machine to either go on or off air.

Club members with Teacher Thomas (left) inside Radio Taifa
Next was the control apparatus room where we met Engineer Philip Chamdani who helps with operating the machines that transmit signals to other parts of the country. Signals from the studio go through a transmitter to receiver through a machine called audio monitor. He showed us how to connect to their other local radio stations e.g. Kitwek, Mayenga and the English and Kiswahili services. He used VU meters to measure signal transmission.

We visited the KBC TV station, one of the largest studios I have ever seen in Kenya. It was decorated with huge lights and news cameras. We were shocked to know that some local TV programs e.g. Vioja Mahakamani were normally shot in that same studio. It is only a matter of set design and all goes well.

Club member learning how to record voice overs
Lastly we visited the control room, where all signals from the studio are channeled to be broadcasted worldwide. In the CR, the audio and video are dealt with separately but their signals sent simultaneously. Needless to say, we all had sharpened our brains on how medias operate and were encouraged to come back as CEOs of that company. After the knowledge room, we all went to a prestigious hotel where we treated our stomachs and lastly went back to the center. How else could we have described that day?

Rebecca Musanga and Sharon Akinyi are members of the Uweza Journalism Club.

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