The second edition of capacity-building for journalists in various media organisations in Nigeria organised by the British Council Nigeria has ended in Lagos. The event held at the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, on Victoria Island.
Similar workshops had earlier been held in Abuja and Port Harcourt within the year to enhance the capacity of journalists in the fast-paced digital era.
The workshop last year dwelt on conflict and sensitive reporting, collaborations in the media space, equality, diversity and inclusion in the Nigerian media and child protection. It featured thought leaders in the field of journalism, branding and marketing.
This year’s edition focused on the theme: “Upholding journalism ethics in the age of social media – sifting facts from fake news.” Other key issues addressed at training included: the impact of our activities on the environment and the power of storytelling in journalism.
The media’s role in educating, informing, entertaining and influencing public opinion in Nigeria has come into focus in recent times, especially as 2019 elections draw near. This follows digital access which makes it possible for everyone and anyone to assume the role of a journalist.
Speaking on the role of the British Council in creating opportunities and developing the media, the Director of Operations, British Council Nigeria, Mr Stephen Forbes, noted the huge role played by the media in Nigeria.
He explained that the British Council is the UK’s International Organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. “We are constantly seeking for ways of creating opportunities by providing platforms where knowledge is shared among keys stakeholders. This workshop is timely to develop the capacity of journalists around conflict-sensitive reporting and sifting facts from fake news, as the election period approaches.”
A communication specialist and media engagement advisor speaker, Mrs Lauratu Umar Abdulsalam Palladium, emphasised on the importance of ‘conflict sensitivity in journalism’ stressing the need for journalists to be ethical, conflict sensitive and avoiding hate speech in the build up to 2019 the elections.
Speaking on the topic ‘Upholding journalism ethics in the age of social media – sifting facts from fake news,” Mr Arukaino Umukoro, a CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year, said that verifying facts before publication in the media is of utmost importance.
Another speaker, Mr Adejuwon Soyinka, Editor, BBC Pidgin Service in Nigeria, advised journalists to collaborate through the exchange of expertise, infrastructure, manpower and finance across their different organisations and internationally.
Drawing on his vast experience in collaborating within the media space, he stated that knowledge of a subject matter, compelling story, research and integrity are the key ingredients for collaboration.
Another speaker, Mr Lanre Phillips of Elpee Consulting, a sales/ marketing and brand professional, pointed out the ‘value of storytelling and branding in reportage and used the opportunity to share the best ways of engaging audiences, using storytelling and shared global best practices and trends.
Head of Communications, British Council Nigeria, Mrs Edemekong Uyoh, said: “Considering the crucial role played by the media in the society, the British Council has found it necessary to develop the capacity of journalists to deliver optimally and professionally in their career. “In the last two years, we have trained over 300 journalists in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt and we hope this will enhance the quality of their delivery going forward.”