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Premium Times Centre trains campus journalists, launches reporter app

In the last two months, the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) team has been on the road training campus journalists across Nigerian universities. The train started at the Bayero University Kano as the Centre launched the Campus Reporter website as part of its programme to support evidence-based campus journalism in Nigerian tertiary institutions.

Over 40 students of Bayero University from Mass Communication, Law, Theatre and Performing Arts and other departments learnt the rope of evidence-based journalism. The young talents were engaged with topics such as Craft and Context of Journalism, Legal framework of Accountability Media, Basics of Data Journalism, Media Ethics & Professionalism, Holistic Security and Privacy Tips for Investigative Reporters.

Mohammed, a 300-level student of the Mass Communication at BUK, appreciated the trainers and commented thus: “The project has not only empowered me to be a professional journalists but opened my eyes to the business side of the career.”

Cross section of BUK Students, facilitators and mentors

The train moved to Lagos State University where about 50 campus journalism enthusiasts benefitted from the training on investigative, data and multimedia journalism. Students from the University as much as in Kano commented that the training reassured them that journalism is a worthy career to pursue. A student described the training as a life-changing experience.

Prof. Umaru Pate (Dean School of Communications, BUK) and Joshua Olufemi (Program Director, PTCIJ)

The University of Jos and the Federal University of Technology, Minna, were the next two destinations, with Federal University of Technology Minna marking the halfway point in the training tour to eight illustrious academic institutions.

The fifth leg of the marathon ended on Saturday July 30, 2017 where about 40 students, campus reporters of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, attended the clinic. Alongside investigative, data and multimedia journalism skills, they also learnt how to use Campus Reporter Android application built to provide hands-on template for reporting basic issues, events and activities in and around campus communities.

Participants, facilitators and mentor of LASU Campus Journalism Clinic
Participants, facilitators and mentor of LASU Campus Journalism Clinic

The Campus Reporter Android application was inspired by the Code for South Africa’s Pocket Reporter application, which was customised with added features such as ethics and extra story tips.

The campus reporter website has been created to give campus journalists across the country opportunity to showcase their talents and creative writing skills while working on investigative reports, data-driven stories as well as multimedia contents such as podcasts, videos in their respective campus radio stations, print and blogs.

Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi and UNIJOS Campus Journalists

Participants who publish on the website will become a new community of young investigative journalists who understand the ethics of the profession and will play a crucial role in the evolution of the media in the country, said Programme Director, Joshua Olufemi.

Mr. Idris Akinbajo and FUT Minna Campus Journalists

An exciting function of the site is to help provide to students and the general public, ethical guidelines and data journalism guides and resources. The Campus Reporter Mobile Application is also available for download. This application, developed by PTCIJ, will serve as a guiding tool to enable campus journalists prepare their stories.

The Ford Foundation-supported programme aims to train at least 200 campus journalists who will be able to showcase their investigative, data and multimedia reporting talents and also build a critical mass of future leaders for Nigerian newsrooms.

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