IN a bid to encourage and motivate increased membership,Sports Journalist Association of Kenya(SJAK) has waived the annual membership fee from Ksh6, 000 to 4,000 respectively.
The Association treasurer Alex Isaboke broke the good news during the Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at a Nairobi hotel, on Saturday, November 29th, 2019.
The good news termed as a major windfall was unanimously passed by members who felt the previous membership fee of Ksh.6000 had discouraged new and old members to join or maintain their positions.
Isaboke informed the members that the SJAK executive had waived outstanding membership fee owed to the association so that they can start on a clean slate which was applauded by the members.
Isaboke said despite the hard economic times where sponsors were shying away from funding programmes, SJAK made a surplus of Ksh1 million.
The Association has however lined up a series of activities in the coming year geared towards empowering it’s members with professional skills.
The Association’s General Secretary Mike Okinyi said SJAK will conduct trainings for its members with a view of enhancing their journalistic skills and understanding the mechanics of operations of various sporting agencies.
He said the Association in collaboration with various agencies will conduct six training workshops with first one earmarked for February.
Okinyi said Kenya will be hosting six major international events hence the need to empower the sports journalists with requisite training skills.
Kenya will be hosting the IAAF World Under-20 Championship, Safari Rally Kenya which is now a leg of the World Rally Championships (WRC) returning to Kenya after 18-year hiatus and the Magical Kenya Open which is a round of the European Tour.
Next year will also be an Olympic year where the Summer Games will hosted in Tokyo, Japan.
“Kenyan journalists need regular refresher courses that will come a long way in helping them increase knowledge in the so called ‘minor sports’,” he said.
Okinyi urged journalists to diversify from area of specialization to increase their chances of opportunities in the sports coverage field.
“We want reporters to learn how to use cameras and vice versa broadcast journalist to know how to write stories for print and digital platform so that they are not left out when various opportunities spring up,” he said.
Okinyi said SJAK in collaboration with world athletics governing body will recruit a woman commentator to be the voice of the World under 20 Championships.
The exercise of interviewing the woman journalists to be considered for the chance will be conducted in February and urged the Kenyan female journalists to prepare and take a shot at the opportunity which will be conducted fairly and transparently.
Okinyi added that the Association is in collaborating with the Kenyan Government to offer sports journalists for fully paid up trips to cover international and continental events.
The entire SJAK executive save for the Association President Chris Makamu Mbaisi who send his apology, attended the poorly attended meeting.