The Eastern African Journalists Association (EAJA) in collaboration with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) held a two – day workshop on “Organising in the Digital Economy, Youth Recruitment and Trade Union Reform” in Nairobi, Kenya from 9 – 10 December, 2018.
The workshop, supported by Union To Union, brought together 14 young journalists from Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Somalia and Kenya a well as some members of the EAJA Executive Committee to address the challenges confronting young journalists working online in Eastern Africa as well as their enrollment into unions. The workshop highlighted that young journalists working online are mostly exploited and work under precarious conditions while the internet remains a valuable source of employment.
Participants listed online security as one of the greatest challenges they face. They noted that while the usage of internet facilities remains very expensive in countries such as Uganda and Tanzania, legislations that aim at fighting so called “fake news” and false information are also emerging in various countries and threaten internet users.
The workshop also addressed critical issues including developing tools for online recruitment as well as strategies for organising campaigns that are geared towards recruiting young journalists who are just entering the profession. Participants at the workshop recommended that young union members should be included in the recruitment process of their peer as they speak the same “language”. They also recommended that the unions should develop youth policies and programmes that attract the youth.