By Jimoh Babatunde
Professor Mohmmad Ishiyaku, Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, has called on scientists to aim for clarity when they communicate about their researches.
Professor Ishiyaku said this at the opening of a three-day media training workshop held recently at the Institute for Agricultural Research, Samaru, Zaria.
He said clear communication will ensure research products do not end up on the shelves, but readily get public buy-in.
He noted that as researchers strive for clarity, interacting with the media does not come that easily, hence scientists should practice and be patient to master how best to interact with the media for impact.
“You have to be a journalist yourself momentarily and be the respondent, as well as viewing yourself as somebody who is accountable to the public, because the journalist tries to show you to the public in his own way as best as he can.
“You must, therefore, make sure you persuade him convincingly to present you to the public in your own light,” he said.
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He noted that one must anticipate or pre-empt what the journalist wants to say and respond in clear terms without ambiguity, to avoid being misunderstood.
“Researchers must be accountable to the public as their research is not for private but for public good and consumption.
“You must, therefore, learn to suppress and divorce your emotions from your work by presenting the facts of the research findings for the public to appreciate,” hr noted.
Professor Rabiu Adamu, the Principal Investigator for the TELA Maize Project, said the technologies employed by the Project were relatively new to the Nigeria landscape, hence it was important for the media to understand and report on them effectively.