In a world marred by fake news and a global pandemic, the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) facilitated a training session for students in Nigerian universities on journalism. The organisation delivered a value-packed training session tagged “Supporting Evidence-Based Multimedia and Investigative Journalism in Tertiary Institutions” over a space of two weeks.
The online training was held in two batches. The first took place on Zoom between the 10th and 13th of August and the second held on the same platform between the 17th and 20th of August 2020, with two sessions —morning and afternoon— on each day.
Seventy-five selected participants from three Nigerian Universities, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo state and Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State were beneficiaries of this training which focused on the challenging areas that are currently puzzling newsrooms across the world.
Seven facilitators trained the participants on different components of journalism, ranging from how to generate original story ideas, accountability journalism, data journalism, gender-sensitive reporting, telling inclusive stories, safety and security tips for campus journalists.
The need for fact-checking, journalistic ethics, the role journalism plays in governance and the advancement of democracy were also dissected.
The Publisher of Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi, who also facilitated some of the sessions emphasized the need to train and prepare the next generation of journalists with the necessary knowledge and skills they need to take over the newsroom in the nearest future. He encouraged and challenged the participants to play their part by putting out their voices for the purpose of birthing positive changes in their various communities.
Responding to the training opportunity, Precious Echipue, a participant, used her social media platform to show gratitude to the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism for an amazing experience, stating that this was just the starting blocks she needed to kickstart her journalism career.
Charity Odoh, another participant, expressed how her training experience would be a lasting one: “Actually it was an experience I will never forget in a hurry. I was able to learn things that aren’t obtainable within the four walls of the classroom.”
Another beneficiary of the training known as Collins Odigie said: “The training was s[very educational] as well as expository. Not leaving behind any clutter in terms of practical knowledge required for better experience and expertise in the field as a practising journalist.”
Busola Ajibola, the Coordinator of the Campus Reporter Programme, a platform created by PTCIJ to support “evidence-based multimedia and investigative journalism in Nigerian tertiary institutions,” said that the training was conducted for campus journalists to hone their journalistic skills and to introduce them to the Campus Reporter Network built by the organisation.
Campus Reporter has held 14 successful trainings in tertiary institutions across Nigeria with over 800 students being beneficiaries. It has a dedicated website where news stories and investigative reports conducted by student journalists are published.
By Oluwatosin Ologun, Abasi-ibiangake Udoka
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