Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), under its Campus Reporter project, has trained 55 student journalists from the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), the Ekiti State University (EKSU) and the Bamidele Olumilua University of Education in Ekiti State.
The four-day training took place between Monday, the 31st of May and Thursday, the 3rd of June. The training is among a series of similar trainings across tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Since the project started in 2017, PTCIJ has trained over 1500 students in 22 tertiary institutions.
According to Busola Ajibola, the coordinator for Campus Reporter, the training is a long-term capacity building project and is implemented through the Training-Internship-Mentorship (TIM) process. The project is focused on campus journalists across tertiary institutions in Nigeria and offers them various opportunities like newsroom internships and guidance from professional journalists, helping to ease the transition from campus journalism to mainstream journalism.
The training sessions were facilitated by Idris Akinbajo, the Managing Editor of Premium Times; Deji Adekunle, the Deputy Programme Director of the PTCIJ; Busola Ajibola, the Programme Coordinator of Campus Reporter; Ijeoma Okereke, the Project Officer of UDEME; as well as Mboho Eno, the Accountability Programme Manager of PTCIJ.
Some of the sessions held at the training included Introduction to Journalism, Investigative Interviewing, Introduction to Data Journalism, as well as Gender Sensitive Reporting and Telling Inclusive Stories.
On the third day of the training, the campus journalists were introduced to the UDEME project. UDEME is a social accountability project that advocates for transparency across all levels of government in Nigeria. With the help of U-Monitors, UDEME tracks constituency projects as well as capital projects in Nigeria.
Present at the training was Samuel Ajala, the president of the National Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ). He lauded PTCIJ’s efforts towards training young and budding journalists in order to increase their productivity while advocating for transparency and accountability in their various schools.
Mrs Ajibola, the Campus Reporter Project Coordinator said: “For us, it is important that the practice of youth journalism in Nigeria be ingrained in truthfulness, verification, source scrutiny and scepticism. It is also important that budding journalists are brought to an early understanding of how professional, evidence-based and ethical journalism is intricately connected to the survival of democracy and the establishment of an equitable and just society.”
In addition to the ongoing training, Mrs Ajibola noted that PTCIJ “Designed a mobile web application that provides an on-the-go guide on how to write news reports”
One of the beneficiaries of the training, Idiaghe Osaro, a campus journalist from the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, said: “I am so honoured to be part of this training and I would say it has been an eye-opener as well as a great experience so far. Getting to be trained by experts in the field of journalism has helped me to understand the pros and cons of journalism, how to write a better report, how to make an impact with my stories and how to manage various aspects of journalism.
I am indeed grateful for this opportunity and I say a very big thank you to the sponsors of the program as well to the facilitators and to UCJ FUOYE.”
Oluwaseun Ojo is one of the campus journalists who was trained by PTCIJ. The student of the Ekiti State University said: “This training has opened my eyes to see the importance of journalism. I now know that I have a voice and I must use it. The session I enjoyed most [was] Gender-Sensitive Reporting.”
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