Will Newsrooms Continue to Be Relevant? Reflections on the Practices of Journalism in Kenya during Covid-19 Crisis

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VII, Issue VI, June 2020 | ISSN 2321–2705

Will Newsrooms Continue to Be Relevant? Reflections on the Practices of Journalism in Kenya during Covid-19 Crisis

Abdullahi Abdi Sheikh (Ph.D Candidate, MA, BA)
Department of Communication, Moi University, and director of BVI-media, Kenya

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: Journalists were quick to adopt to the new world order imposed by the Corona Virus crisis in 2019-2020, and resorted to use of technology, and working from home. While the technology has always been improving, and it was available to journalist, and while journalists and media managers in Kenya considered the fact that the world was moving to technology and they devised new ways of reaching their audiences on digital platforms, there is very little evidence that they were willing to improve the way they work with technology and continued to cramp in newsrooms. The Covid-19 crisis has therefore, woken them to the reality of the importance of technology and working from home, which has made newsrooms completely irrelevant, as journalists easily worked from the comfort of their homes, came up live for radio and TV from anywhere and exchanged material with colleague and editors without physical contact. This paper looks at the future of journalism in the wake of Covid-19, and technology explosion, in comparison with traditional media, it examines the literature surrounding use of available technology and seeks to identify challenges to switching to digital in Kenya.

Keywords: Journalism, technology, newsroom

I. INTRODUCTION

The current COVID-19 pandemic, originating in Wuhan, China, is just one in a series of pandemics that have characterized the epidemiological history of humanity over the centuries. HIV/AIDS is one of the pandemic that spread all over the world and peaked between 2005 and 2012 period, and which is estimated to have killed 36 million people so far; the 1968 influenza pandemic that killed one million people; the Asian influenza of 1956-58 that killed two million; the cholera pandemic of 1910-11 that killed 800,000; and the 1918-20 influenza pandemic (also known as the Spanish flu) that affected more than one-third of the world and decimated an estimated 20—50 million people.
The media industry has undergone significant change in the last few years but in 2020, with the all-encompassing global impact of COVID-19, the pace of change is being accelerated by fundamental shifts in how we live, work and understand the world.