By Kenneth Watt
Two Malawian reporters who were chosen to take part in an intensive journalism course and work placement have been officially welcomed by Principal Sir Jim McDonald.
The scheme, set up to mark the bicentenary of the birth of missionary and explorer David Livingstone, who was significant in the ending of slavery in Malawi, invites two journalists from the country to develop their investigative skills. Chipiliro Kansilanga and Wonderful Hunga spent two weeks studying digital and investigative journalism courses at Strathclyde before going on to spend a fortnight using their skills at the Scotland on Sunday newspaper in Edinburgh.
The Livingstone Scholars Journalism Programme was originally thought out by Dr Eamonn O’Neill and put in to practice by Kenny Farquharson, deputy editor at the Scotland on Sunday, with funding from by the Scottish Government.
Dr O’Neill, programme director for MSc Investigative Journalism at Strathclyde, said: “I love meeting journalists from around the world as there’s a sort-of tribal feeling of what we all do and who we all are – we’re all part of the same gang if you like.”
“There’s a knowledge exchange: we’re giving them the cutting-edge experience of our educational institution. We’re giving the best of that to take back to Malawi and we’re getting their front-line experiences of living in that part of the world and what it’s like to be a journalist out there.”
“They bring a couple of decades of experience with them and it’s been great for our students in the class listening to them. It’s really added something extra.”
At the reception, Sir Jim used this project as an example to emphasise that projects like this are central to the ‘useful learning’ brand of Strathclyde; allowing students at the University to develop real skills and expertise from all over the world, and for the organisation to share its own with the wider community.
During their time in Edinburgh Chipiliro and Wonderful will work in the Scotland on Sunday newsroom as well in the publication’s Holyrood office. They will also give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Malawi.
This is the first year of the programme by the University and it is hoped to be continued in years to come.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);