Female journalists invited to 'win' through accelerator programme

Thursday November 28 2019

Past participants of the Women In News programme. Since its inception in 2015, 30 women have gone through it. PHOTO | COURTESY


Applications for the 2020 Women in News, WIN, Programme have officially kicked off, inviting journalists from Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to apply for the 2020 programme.

The coaching and mentoring programme is an initiative by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, WAN-IFRA, to develop and promote women leadership in the media. Since its inception in 2015, 30 Kenyan women have gone through .

It was crafted as a leadership accelerator programme for high potential media women, to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable them excel in their careers.


Jane Godia, East and Central Africa Programme Manager for WIN, says that the nine-month programme is life-changing, in that shortlisted applicants should expect tectonic movement in their career and personal lives.

“The programme is delivered through a minimum of five face-to-face sessions with the coaches. These also include emails and phone calls. There is also skills building, which happens three times through the National Gathering.”


She added, “We also conduct online media management training, and sometimes class trainings at WITS universities.”

The inspiration behind it? Studies have shown that just as in many other fields of endeavour, there is poor representation of women in the media, especially at management levels. This has a bearing on the content that the media produces and how women and children issues are treated in the media.

Over the past seven years that the programme has been running in Africa, Middle East and South East Asia, about 500 participants have gone through the programme and has proven to be a high impact and sought after programme and it has transformed the careers of many women.

WIN programme was introduced to Uganda this year with the generous support of the Norwegian Government who have provided the resources to fund the programme. It will now be part of the programme being held in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana.

And while there is only one coach and there are 7 to 8 participants in other countries, Uganda has three coaches and 25 participants in 2019.


The programme includes media management training, individual coaching, mentoring, networking and building various managerial skills including managing people and managing finances.

WAN-IFRA is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers, representing more than 18000 publications, 15000 online sites and over 3000 companies in more than 120 countries.

Its mandate is to defend and promote media freedom, and the economic independence of news media as an essential condition of that freedom.

The WIN programme is part and parcel of WAN-IFRA’s development work to strengthen the capacity of media institutions by addressing the apparent poor representation of women in senior management positions.

The application deadline is on the 15th of December. Applicants must have 2-3 years management experience and be working in the media sector, including print or digital newspapers, radio and, in some cases, broadcast.