The second edition of the Annual Research Conference on Media and Communication themed “Media and Communication in a Post Covid World: Problems, Opportunities, and Perspectives”, brought together media stakeholders from the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), Kenya Film Commission, Public Relation Society of Kenya (PRSK), students and staff from Kabarak University.
Rooted in a commitment to mentor and train upcoming researchers, Dr. Ruth Owino, the conference convener said that this year had the highest number of student participation. The conference provided a viable platform for students to demonstrate their skills and abilities in research. Having hosted the first edition of the media conference last year, Dr. Thiga, the Director of Research mentioned the importance of research in enabling the industry to navigate effectively through a very competitive media terrain.
At the climax of the conference, topics like media economics and management were discussed in detail on how research could generate information, and influence media opportunities and their survival. Dr. Rosemary Kowuor-Nyaole, a senior lecturer at Daystar University pointed out the increasing content production and the concept of media economics as important factors in maximising profits while minimizing costs.
The Keynote Speaker Mr. Timothy Owase, the CEO of the Kenya Film Commission, talked about the Programs the Film Commission is championing such as Film empowerment, certification, and a centralised film experience. He added that the Kenya Film Commission is working on a stimulus package, film hubs across the country, and core capacity-building workshops. He encouraged the participants to champion the screen culture in our country, Kenya.
Ms. Sylvia Mwichuli, the CEO of the Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK), discussed “Strategic Communication in the Post Covid-19 World”. She encouraged the audience to keep pace with the rapidly changing media landscape and invest significantly in branding and reputation management. She added that in order to build strong brands, one needed to consider brand loyalty, policy, awareness, and brand association.
The full spectrum of essential research in the media industry should be promoted through fund allocation to improve the quality and quantity of data collection as this would enable policymakers, and media managers to make informed choices.