Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Wambui Wamunyu


Graduate School of Media and Communications


This study sought to understand how freelance media practitioners are acquiring knowledge and practical skills for the different newsrooms they produce content for in the current digital world, a time when there are dynamic technological trends and an audience that is not only changing but also creating news and media content. The study was based on the Skill Acquisition Theory, which describes how people progress in learning a variety of skills, from beginner to advanced proficiency. The study employed quantitative and qualitative methods by use of questionnaires and interview guides. Data emanating from the questionnaires were analysed using SPSS and presented using tables and pie charts. In contrast, data from the qualitative interviews involved thematic grouping of the content. The study established trends of freelance journalists’ acquisition of practical professional skills, which is changing in the dynamic media industry. While the current journalism curricula in most media learning institutions cover core journalistic skills such as writing and objective coverage of a story, there’s need for more skills that are related to business, organizational and entrepreneurial skills. Some journalists have undergone financial struggles due to the changes, while others have gotten the opportunity to thrive in entrepreneurship. Further, the study established that most respondents could write more stories or produce more content after skills development. As media learning institutions are introducing journalism programs to their courses, there’s need for adequate and regular research on courses that best suit the current trends in the ever-changing media environment. The study made recommendations that freelance journalists play a major role in the contribution of news in Kenya today and therefore there’s need to invest in the skilling of freelance journalists, as they will be engaged more in the newsroom. The study also recommends that since media associations are a channel that play a major role when it comes to offering opportunities and platforms for knowledge acquisition, they need to be more equipped and highly networked so as to provide effective and frequent skilling for professional growth of their members.