Not less than 20,000 Nigerian journalists and other media professionals would have their capacities enhanced over the next 52 months through specialised trainings and resources being put together by the International Press Centre, Lagos with funding from the European Union Support for Democracy and Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) component 4b project. NUJ President, Alhaji Waheed
Not less than 20,000 Nigerian journalists and other media professionals would have their capacities enhanced over the next 52 months through specialised trainings and resources being put together by the International Press Centre, Lagos with funding from the European Union Support for Democracy and Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) component 4b project.
NUJ President, Alhaji Waheed Odusile and other stakeholders at the Review of Code of Election Coverage Meeting[/caption]Speaking on the EU-SDGN component 4b project at a stakeholders gathering to review and update the Code of Election Coverage 2015 recently, IPC Director, Mr Lanre Arogundade said apart from journalists, “hundreds of female politicians, people living with disabilities (PWDs), youths and other vulnerable groups will also directly or indirectly benefit from the outcomes of activities covered under the project over this period of time”.
Aside the review of the Code of Election Coverage 2015, other activities being implemented under component 4b: Support to Media of the EU-SDGN project, include the publication, launch and dissemination of a Resource Manual on Election and Democratic Accountability Reporting which is already being worked on by a team of experts led by Prof Nosa Owens-Ibie, a Communications, Media and Development Scholar and Dean, College of Social and Management Sciences, Caleb University, Imota in Ikorodu.
Other members of the Resource Manual team include Mr Edetaen Ojo; Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Mr Taiwo Obe; Founder Journalism Clinic, Mr Martins Oloja; former Editor of The Guardian and Mrs Funke-Treasure Durodola; Assistant Director Programmes, Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operations. Also included are Prof. Umaru Pate of Bayero University, Kano and Dr. Abubakar Muazu of the University of Maiduguri as well as the IPC Director.
Other activities under the component 4b project include the publication of a Freedom of Information, (FOI) Manual on Reporting of Accountability Issues in the Electoral Process which is being done in collaboration with the Media Rights Agenda (MRA).
Also, a Baseline Assessment of Print/Online Media Engagement of the Electoral Process is also being done by another team chaired by Mr Lanre Idowu; Editor-in-Chief, Media Review with Mr Adewale Adeoye; Director, Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER) and Mr Lekan Otunfodunrin; Online Editor of The Nation newspaper as members.
There will also be Media Training Workshops on Best Practices and Professional Reporting and investigative reporting of campaign finances using FOI Act; Monitoring of Print/Online Media and Documentation of Electoral Promises; Workshops for Media/Social Media Practitioners (Online Journalists and Bloggers) on Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Capacity Building Media Workshop for Political Correspondents to deepen their knowledge and expand the scope of the use of New and Social Media in Election Reporting.
The project also include the upgrade and running of Nigerian Democratic Report (NDR) and Social Media Platform for Model Reports and Citizens’ Online Engagement with the Electoral Process; Capacity Building for Female Politicians on use of the Media during Electoral Process and Elections; Production and Dissemination of Enlightening and Informative Materials on Civic and Voters Education (CVE) and Information, Communication and Education (ICE); Training of Journalists on the use of FOI Act for Investigative Reporting of Campaign Finance and Election Promises and Publication of Manual on use of FOI Act for the Investigative Reporting of Campaign Finance and Election Promises.
Arogundade expressed immense gratitude to the European Union whose support has made this endeavour possible through the European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) project. “We are also grateful to the National Authorising Officer (NAO) of the project – the Ministry of Budget and National Planning for facilitating this project”, he says.
While commending IPC for this stride, Publisher of Premium Times, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi wants greater collaboration between the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the Newspapers Proprietors of Nigeria (NPAN), Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and Media based NGOs like IPC on the training of Journalists. He particularly wants “The umbrella organisations in the Media (NUJ/NGE) to lead the way on the issue of training”, saying that “The mass based nature of these organisations make them irresistible to funders”.
Deploring the non challant attitude of Media owners to the training of their staff, Olorunyomi is of the view that “this certainly portends some ill for the profession”. “Thrusting ill trained staff to manage the business of information is inimical to the growth and development of the Media and by extension, negates the development of the country. Journalists must be constantly trained and retrained”, he quips.