By Agbonkhese Oboh
The School of Media and Communication, SMC, Pan-Atlantic University, PAU, has trained media practitioners in solution and data journalism.
Twenty journalists, selected from across print, broadcast and digital media were taken through a comprehensive 10-day programme in journalism that places primacy on solutions to societal challenges.
The participating journalists, who are the first set of graduates from the Solutions & Data Journalism Academy of SMC, were taught to change the narrative by focusing reportage on solutions rather than highlighting problems.
The importance of solution and data journalism in Nigeria was emphasised as the country is “Africa’s largest economy and population… and will play a pivotal role in charting Africa’s future in ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthy and productive life.”
On the need for professionalism in the media and the importance of Solution Journalism, Dean, SMC, Dr. Ikechukwu Obiaya, said: “We are aware of the great importance of the media. The society is influenced by the media. So you can imagine if those who run it are not well formed or have negative agenda.
“That is why we stress the need for quality training and retraining. Our motivation is building competent professionals that will contribute to improving society.”
On her part, the Course Director, Dr. Ruth Oji, who was also one of the resource persons, expressed satisfaction with the programme, noting that a lot had been planted in the journalists.
Dr. Oji noted that from the participating journalists’ presentations on the last day, she was sure that “they are ready to apply and implement all they have learned.”
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Other officials at the Solution Journalism Academy were Director, Mr. Isaac-Ogugua Ezechukwu; Senior Marketing Executive and Coordinator, Mr. Opeyemi Gazali, and Course Coordinator, Mr. Godwin Akowe, all of Professional Education, SMC-PAU.
Also, besides Dr. Obiaya and Dr. Oji, other facilitators were Professor Cecil Blake, Dr. Patrick Enaholo, Dr. Ngozi Opara, Mr. Ikeddy Isiguzo, Mrs Ifeyinwa Awagu, Mr. Olatunji Ololade, Mr. Chido Nwakanma, Mr. Munachim Amah and Mr. Rotimi Sankore.
At the end of the programme, the journalists were awarded certificates and a mentorship scheme established.
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