To enhance their capacity towards discharging their duties professionally, with best practices in focus, the International Press Centre has hosted a two-day training workshop for female journalists drawn from states in the southern part of the country. Organised as part of the component 4 of the EU-SDGN11 project in Nigeria, the workshop attracted seasoned female
To enhance their capacity towards discharging their duties professionally, with best practices in focus, the International Press Centre has hosted a two-day training workshop for female journalists drawn from states in the southern part of the country.
Organised as part of the component 4 of the EU-SDGN11 project in Nigeria, the workshop attracted seasoned female journalists from the broadcast, print and online media selected from the southern part of Nigeria. They were taken through insightful sessions on how to deepen their scope of media understanding and reportorial ability using fact-checking techniques in turning out good and impactful stories.
The training was facilitated by experienced media practitioners including Deputy Editor of Africa Check, Nigeria Mrs Motunrayo Joel, who took a session on factual accuracy and combating fake news; the founder of the Journalism Clinic, Mr. Taiwo Obe, who had a session on impactful report of the electoral process and 2023 elections; as well as a lecturer from the University of Port Harcourt Mrs. Titu Osuagwu who engaged female journalists on, “Priority to issues of women and underrepresented”
IPC Executive Director, Mr Lanre Arogundade in his welcome remarks, told the participants that the training was organised to make female journalists contribute to germane issues within the reach of media, as far as elections are concerned. He encouraged the participants to make themselves agents of change in the society.
“It is aimed at ensuring that participants will contribute to the realisation of the other results. We will therefore expect you to, among others, make use of the skills acquired in the next two days to combat fake news; provide civic and voter education and inspire other forms of engagement with the media that encourage people particularly underrepresented groups like women, youths, and persons with disabilities to vote and be voted for; and make FOI requests for investigative reporting of accountability and transparency issues in the electoral process”, Mr Arogundade said.
In her welcome address, Ladi Bala, president of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ, advised the participants to utilise the opportunity given to them to improve their skills in the media profession. She said that female journalists have a pivotal role to play in the general elections in 2023. Therefore, they must push further in the protection of Nigeria’s democracy.
“It is on this note that I appeal to participants drawn from the South-east, South-south and the South-west of the country to utilize the opportunity and learn new skills that will improve their capacities and enhance the quality of news reports. Journalists must rise to the occasion of protecting and strengthening Nigeria’s democracy in the build-up to the 2023 general elections,” she said.
Taking the journalists through a session on factual accuracy and combating fake news during the general elections, Mrs Motunrayo Joel, charged the female journalists and media practitioners to be armed with fact-checking skills in this era of false information. She noted that if journalists failed to inculcate fact-checking into their working mechanisms, it could lead to endangering lives and property in the society, and it could also escalate into violence. She, however, encouraged the participants to be on their toes to end fake news.
“Don’t take information from a secondary source (e.g., a newspaper) without verifying, compare the text version of a speech with its video/audio version, a press release is only a starting point, don’t simply repeat a statistic. Determine if the person you’re quoting has used the latest data and if it is reliable. Make sure a source/expert has direct knowledge of the information they are providing. If they don’t, go to the source”. She encouraged female journalists to always examine the veracity of any information given to them.
Dr Titi Osuagwu, while taking participants on electoral processes and 2023 elections; with priority to issues of women and other underrepresented, charged the female journalists to be intentional about how to influence inclusivity in governance. She noted that women journalists must expand their capacity so that the government can be serious about bringing women, youths, and persons with disabilities together for all round participation. She also asked them to increase their interest in making women-related matters their focus.
Mr. Taiwo Obe, the founder of Journalism Clinic wanted women journalists to be more inclined about the public interest. He trained participants on how to generate stories that are consequential to the people. He noted that journalists must be ready to get themselves into the stories they are telling about people. He also enlightened participants on how to create narratives that will impact society by giving them the tools needed for the actualisation of that.
Speaking with NDR after his session, Mr Obe said the participants have been given the needed ammunition to fight and conquer their professional challenges. Albeit he explained that it is only left to them to use the tools given to them, “we have trained them, we have given them the ammunition needed to make changes in the society, especially in the elections period. I believe it is their duty to do what is expected of them”, Mr. Obe said
The training concluded with participants sharing perspectives on how to improve their capacities in the coming elections. Participants also generated story angles to make the coming the 2023 general elections a success.