By; Mgandi Ngala
When she stepped at the Coast based renowned Islamic radio station, Radio Rahma as an intern in 2009, she knew that the assignment ahead would be tough since she was a devoted Christian.
However eight years later, she has been correlating and gaining vast experience in the media industry despite working in an Islamic radio station.
Ruth Keah heads the News department at the Rockwall plaza-Nyali based Radio station Radio Rahma in Mombasa which broadcasts in the Coastal region of Kenya and worldwide through its Online platform.
She reveals that it has not been an easy journey but with a lot of hiccups which did not deter her from pursuing her dreams, today she can assign other junior staffs duties as she directly deliberate with the Station manager Veronica Mweu and Programs controller Faiz Musa Abdallah on how to beat the stiff competition in the congested radio broadcasting sector.
She worked as a News reporter before she was promoted to a News editor and after proving her tough journalistic characters and efforts to her Bosses, she clinched the top job of managing the news department.
She also gathers, package and disseminates news on the 91.5 FM airwaves.
However she spends more time conducting interviews in the field, meeting various news sources in a bid to expand her contacts database for smooth daily operations in the newsroom.
Our interview is always interrupted by calls frequenting the busy newsroom telephone line and Ruth would get busy on the keyboard while at the same time her mouth and ears on the telephone conversation.
“Politics, Press conference and armchair journalism are not anywhere in my personal diary, that’s is why I have gathered self reliance and becoming confident female journalist,” she reveals with a broad smile.
Ruth, a Multi-award winner says that petty journalism of depending on press conferences and failing to dig dipper into facts cannot help a journalist beat the strides especially with the emergence of fake news phenomena in the country.
[Radio Rahma’s Station Manager Veronica Mweu (L ) and Multi-award winner Journalist Ruth Keah celebrating her success at the Islamic based radio station. Photo/Cyrus Ngonyo]
“I won several awards from the Media council of Kenya, Family planning Programs under the Kenya Media Network on Population and Development -KEMEP sponsorship and the Energy Journalism Excellence Awards, all because I left the press conference journalism behavior and opened a fresh chapter of doing radio features on gender, health, education, human rights and social issues.
However, she admits that women in the media face various challenges including discrimination from their male colleagues, seen as inferior people and the worst of it being depicted as sex objects by some of their colleagues in the profession and news sources as well instead of accorded the respect and dignity they deserve.
“While in the media, a female journalist should be tough, self confident, hard working and respect herself, that’s when she will earn it from her colleagues at work place and out in the field,” She reveals.
With her vast experience in the media, Ruth Keah, a gender, health, human rights and social feature reporter and editor aims at beating the strides to the international scene in future.