The Kaduna State Government has trained 30 practicing journalists in the state to enhance their capacity.
Special Adviser, Media and Communication to the state governor, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, told journalists on Sunday that the workshop would help them affect the society positively through their reports and programmes.
Adekeye explained that the thrust of the two-day capacity-building workshop was sponsored by the state government for journalists and programme producers in the state.
“In the daily grind of gathering and reporting news, the space for reflection on media practice and more effective ways of discharging the duty of the press is not always available to these practitioners.
“We consider that such a workshop should help to add value to them for the collective benefit of the people of Kaduna state,’’ the aide said.
Adekeye disclosed that helping to raise professional standards by facilitating training for journalists is in the broader public interest.
He said the first set of 30 participants was selected to provide a manageable class size for a workshop that is designed to be interactive.
According to him, further interventions in capacity-building for Kaduna media professionals are expected to continue in the next 12 months.
The facilitators from The Journalism Clinic took the participants through, impact reporting, explainers, advanced research skills and basics of multimedia story-telling.
Other areas covered were content and context, fact-checking and verification in an age where user-generated content and the citizen reporter are redefining journalism.
Mr Taiwo Obe, a fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, led the facilitators.
Obe, who explained that his 36-year sojourn in journalism has left him in no doubt that journalists are actually storytellers, who in their reports narrate the facts of life in the diverse sectors in which people live and operate.
He said journalists can only do this effectively when they are alert to the stories around them, and are equipped with the professional character to ethically pursue these stories, unearth the facts, verify the facts, and publish news stories that exhibit the highest standards.
The workshop was attended by journalists from the print and broadcast sectors.
The participants, who commended the state government for the initiative, said that they have been exposed to new tools and better ways of doing their jobs.
Mr Luka Binniyat, Vanguard Newspapers correspondent in Kaduna, who spoke in an interview after the training , said the programme was worth a while and has exposed him to a wide range of possibilities that would improve professionalism to enable one go into creative venture.
According to him, the training has given him a missing exposure and the potential for creating wealth.
He called on the state government to make such workshop available to journalists as much it can even as he also encouraged entrepreneurs to facilitate such kind of training.
On his part, Daily Trust Kaduna Bureau Chief, Mr Andrew Agbese, said the workshop went beyond his expectation and prayed that the gesture be extended to more journalists.
He said: “It was quite interesting and timely because at this age where information gathering and news reporting is technologically driven, it is only right that a journalist should equip himself with the modern tools and knowledge.
“And the workshop coming at this time served this purpose; it deepened our knowledge on the use of Internet to gather news and do our reporting more effectively.’’
However, he noted that such training was not the duty of any state government, but rather the responsibility of the NUJ and employers of journalists.
“I can say it is the duty of the union and the media organisations we find ourselves in, but due to the peculiar situation we find ourselves where some media organisations cannot even pay salaries how much more sending reporters for training.
“I think the Kaduna state government leveraged on that and think of doing more of that kind of workshop for practicing journalists in the state because at the end of the day it is going to be the beneficiary of objective and analytical reportage,’’ he said.
He said that the government would also save itself from quacks and half baked journalists, adding that it will also guide the journalists in doing developmental reporting.
Similarly, Mr Saxone Akhaine of Guardian Newspapers, said the workshop had exposed him to a lot of modern trends in journalism, especially the multimedia aspect.
The theme of the workshop was “Connecting with the People”. (NAN)