by Lindsay Boyle
Internews is a U.S. government-supported NGO that provides training for journalists throughout Africa and has a goal of promoting freedom of expression. In addition to his work with that organization, Waititu founded an online news digest called Afrikanews, and has contributed to various publications in Kenya.
When he was a student at OU, he covered international news for the Athens News and was able to obtain an internship at CNN. Recently, Waititu hosted a workshop for East African journalists at his Internews offices. The workshop focused on health issues, taught techniques in digital journalism and archival research, and encouraged discussion about ethics and other contemporary issues.
As the Glidden Visiting Professor at OU, Waititu will teach the Foreign Correspondence course, and will assist with International Media Systems course lectures. He will also deliver a public lecture about his work at Internews.
Collaboration between AUCC and OU has increased in recent years with the hope of educating more OU students in communications-related majors about Africa. In the past, OU President Roderick McDavis has given a commencement speech at AUCC, and senior E.W. Scripps School of Journalism faculty member Dr. Ralph Izard has taught classes there. Additionally, the two universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding when Yankah visited the OU campus in August of 2011.
During his month-long residency, Yankah will host a public lecture series about African media issues, which will be streamed on multiple university-related websites. He will also speak to Scripps College of Communication student organizations, sit for interviews with student journalists, speak with local media about African economic and political progress, and be interviewed for the West African Research Association Bulletin.
The Glidden Visiting Professor is hosted by the African Studies Program and by the IIJ. Those organizations will combine to pay for event hospitality and incidentals for Waititu. The West African Research Association residency is sponsored by the African Studies Program, which provides housing for Yankah during his residency.
The IIJ strives to prepare students to work as international journalists and to increase overall international communication. The African Studies Program at OU is one of 10 National Resource Centers for African Studies in the U.S.