The Students Radio & TV Station (SRTS) is an incubator ground for grooming young journalists, story tellers and leaders by equipping them with practical market skills to help them make their first step into the market. This idea aims to address the problem of lack of employable skills among young journalists who fail to penetrate the market and earn a living hence the media market becomes populated with people who have not studied the journalism principles which results into ‘bad journalism.’
Over 40,000 young people graduate from Universities in Uganda every year. According to a 2014 World Bank study, 70% of over these 40,000 fresh graduates in Uganda are unable to secure a job because they are unemployable. Another 2014 survey by the Inter-University Council for East Africa states that 63% of youth in Uganda lack employable skills. The problem is not much in lack of employment opportunities but rather having a huge percentage of your employable population lacking the required employable skills for the market.
How the idea works?
Our idea is to start a community radio and TV station which will be student driven and student run. With a radio and TV studio on air we will be able to train, offer internship, employ students as they start but at the same time prepare them for the job market. The station will function like a normal commercial radio/tv station but will provide priority to student talent development from all universities interested in pursuing media as a profession even if such students do not study journalism. This will attract talent at all levels from production, writing, presenting to general management. It will also help to nurture writers for TV through an incubator writing program. This is how the radio and tv station will work;
Learning and working: Students will have a chance to be engaged in a process of learning by doing where they will work on real content that will go on air.
Internship for students: We shall offer internship and apprenticeship opportunities to students in a fast paced professional environment
Employment opportunities for students: The station will also act as a first step for talented individuals by employing them before they join the mainstream job market
Talent Development: The station will identify and develop the students by giving them a chance to fail as they horn their skills before joining the industry where they can’t make a mistake. We will in turn become a recruitment firm for media houses who need talented individuals.
This video gives you tour of our facility at the academy, however we want to turn this academy into a centre of media excellence where we ca train, offer internship and employment opportunities to the best students. Imagine what it could mean for young people to train live on air, engage and learn in a real media professional setting, be listened and watched by other media houses who would likely scout them and give them a job.
What did we learn in the process?
Working on this proposal has helped us understand each other as a team but also it helped to get us out of our comfort zones. We have been working with young people for 4 years but the idea of a student radio and tv station is more exciting and has brought the whole team to life
The whole team is now immersed in learning more about human-centred-design and this has helped us realise the importance of personalizing our programs. We have managed to build a strategic plan setting a foundation for the project and with this blue print in place and hence now it is a matter of when and not if. This is the biggest accomplishment and achievement we have had so far.
Also as an accomplishment, we have managed to get feedback from our end users who believe this idea is a game changer. The interaction and engagement of our end users was very informative and has helped us rethink our programs.
We have learnt that for any project to be successful, there has to be absolute ownership from the end users and it is empowering for us to know what they want and to engage them. Based on the feedback we have learnt that the need or challenge is there and our idea is needed to address the challenge.
What is next?
We realise that to start a station will require a lot of resources so our plan is to launch an online media platform that we can use to publish the work of the students and profiling them. The website will be called “Things That Work.Com” with a major focus on sharing success stories of solutions, ideas and things that are working in communities and using a solutions journalism approach promoting ways on how such ways can be replicated in other areas. In the next 6 months we will be able to launch this website and train young people on how to identify and cover solutions journalism stories but also cover things that work in their communities.
Activate the community
For us to kick off this project we need access to funding to acquire equipment for both tv and radio, acquire a license and start-up capital
We would like access to mentorship from people who have worked in the media sector and how we can use such a platform to transform other people’s lives
What skills do we need?
As a young start up we need to learn more about project management, drawing strategy, business development, marketing and leadership. We also need to be empowered more in visual story telling and brainstorming