In recognition of the need for Kenyan media independence and sustainability, Luminate, a global philanthropic organisation, will invest $1m in a new space that aims to boost the capacity of journalists and publishers to report in the public interest.
The Baraza Media Lab will provide Kenyan journalists, publishers, and media entrepreneurs a dedicated physical space to strengthen collaboration, networks and skills.
The lab will be run in partnership with Mettā, an innovation and entrepreneur’s hub, and will draw from the company’s established experience in curating meaningful and corporate innovation.
Ory Okolloh, Managing Director at Luminate, said: “We believe that supporting a vibrant media eco-system in Kenya is critical on a number of fronts. From providing an enabling environment for independent media to thrive, to supporting collaboration and providing the space for innovation to happen within the media industry, the Baraza Media Lab will be an important anchor for journalists and entrepreneurs alike. We look forward to working with the community and other partners as we build something transformative.”
Luminate’s launch of the Baraza Media Lab comes at a time when Kenyan media faces several challenges. A 2018 research report by Reboot found that the key challenges facing Kenya’s media ecosystem include a lack of innovation among media organisations, skills gaps among media practitioners, weak networking between media and aligned sectors and downsizing at major media houses.
The Baraza Media Lab aims to help solve these challenges by taking a bottom-up approach, focused on meeting the immediate needs of journalists and media stakeholders. The lab will offer its members three key benefits.