February 10, 2020

Pan-Atlantic Varsity trains 20 professionals in solution journalism

SOLUTIONS JOURNALISTS: From left— (sitting) Senior Media Officer, Centre for Communication and Social Impact, Mr. Seun Akioye; Head of Department, Mass & Media Writing, Professor Cecil Blake; Dean, Dr. Ikechukwu Obiaya; Faculty, Dr. Ruth Oji; Director, Professional Education, Mr. Isaac Ezechukwu; Adjunct Faculty, Mr. Chido Nwakanma, and Senior Marketing Executive and Coordinator, Professional Education, Opeyemi Gazali (standing extreme left), all of School of Media and Communication, SMC, Pan-Atlantic University, PAU, with journalists/participants in the Solutions & Data Journalism Academy 2020, during their graduation at PAU, Lekki, Lagos.

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 professionalism

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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The facilitators

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.