By IKENNA ASOMBA
The School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, SMC-PAU, has emerged winner of the 2014 Editors Lab-Vanguard Hackdays.
The institution, which developed an application called Verifi, was represented by Temitope Falade, Keli Oliseh and Kehinde Haastrup, with the score of 10.41.
They will represent Nigeria at the Hackathon during the GEN Summit in Barcelona, holding from June 11 to 13.
The event organised by Global Editors Network, GEN, in conjunctio with Vanguard Newspapers was sponsored by Google. Vanguard, represented by Adekunle Aliyu, Joe Omeike and Akintayo Eribake, developed an application termed Pollswatch and came second with a score of 10.15.
Television Continental, TVC; University of Lagos, UNILAG, and Channels Televisions, with applications called e15, VoicelessVoice and IVOTE, came third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Adefaye expresses delight Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, General Manager Publication/Editor-in-Chief, Vanguard Newspapers said: “Let me say how delighted I am that this has happened.
“It has happened in Nigeria and it has happened in Vanguard. For me, what is most important is that we were able to bring all of you together to do what others are doing globally.
“I’m particularly happy about the performance of the School of Media and Communication and the University of Lagos, because they are the trainers.
“I am happy that they have done well, so that when we send our staff to these schools they will get more knowledge.”
The participating teams were Vanguard Newspapers, UNILAG, SMC-PAU, TVC and Channels. Others were Daily Trust, Leadership, The Nation, The Nigerian Tribune, Tell newsmagazine, The News, The Sun newspapers and
Expressing joy with her team’s success, Temitope Falade, of SMC-PAU, said: “Honestly, I’m excited and impressed because at the School of Media and Communication, we do a lot of hands-on training on digital media.
“Coming to this kind of competition has actually shown the level of commitment on the part of the school in developing new ways for communication. So it’s a good feedback for us and very important to us.”
Explaining their application she said: “Our application, Verifi, aims to ensure that there is participation from the citizens, INEC and government officials before, during and after the election.
“There is also a way to verify the genuineness of the information that will be shared on the platform.”
While announcing the results, Mr. Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade,Communications & Public Affairs Manager for Google in West Africa, canvassed for the synergy of all media organisations in Nigeria towards bringing together all the applications developed on an independent platform.
He said: “This must not just end here. We will look at a situation where all the applications developed will be brought on an independent platform.
“It is obvious that some media houses will not be in support. But if we can have a minimum of 50 percent of the media houses in Nigeria supporting this application and are part of the team working for its development and success, then we can be rest assured that every nook and cranny of Nigeria will be reached.”
There was optimism among participants that the applications developed will bring about a paradigm shift in the way the media will cover 2015 elections, and curtail electoral malpractices.