Nigeria’s unique social enterprise hub, I-79 Media Consults has trained not less than 400 campus journalists across the country on writing, reporting and fact-checking.
The training with the theme: “The Dynamics of Journalism in the 21st Century” forms part of the organisation’s Webinar Series for Campus Journalists.
A statement by the organisation said that the webinar was organised between Friday, April 17 and Sunday, April 19, “for campus journalists across the country and beyond during this time of lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We believe that this webinar, a core focus of this organisation, will help refresh the brain of our teeming army of campus writers.
“I-79 Media Consults also wants to make the participants more familiar with available media opportunities.”
The participants were drawn from 32 campus press outfits from 16 states across Nigeria’s six geographical zones including the Federal Capital Territory and the Benin Republic.
The participants were trained on Developing Career in Writing and the Various Forms of Writing by two-time Amazon Best Seller and Life Coach, Michael Jacob; News Writing Principles by media scholar and journalist, Jonathan Olajide and Fact-checking and Disinformation by a fact-checker with Dubawa, Nigeria’s first verification platform, Ibrahim Alawode.
Jacob, during the first session, demystified the myths surrounding writing, adding that: “Not everyone will like your writing, not everyone will be your fan until you become a celebrity writer. Even then you will still have those who wouldn’t love you.
“So, consistency means writing even when no one is reading. The truth is, there is always someone reading.”
During the second session, Olajide, a lecturer at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, trained the participants on newswriting techniques.
On newswriting principles, Olajide said they are rules, guidelines, framework reporters must observe in writing news.
“These principles are learnt in the four corners of news writing class, improved upon by reporters based on field experience after graduation.
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“In writing news, reporters must be guided by the most significant principles including Fairness, Objectivity and Balance. These are fundamental principles.
“Regardless of the dynamics of this current century and those of the past, these three principles are sacrosanct,” Olajide said.
Alawode, on the other hand, said: “In the world today, everyone is a content producer, unlike the age before the internet and social media where we have more content consumers than producers. People manufacture contents from the comfort of their rooms and throw them into the space. The reason why social media is called the Misinformation industry.”
He charged the participants to be wary when a particular information goes viral than normal; wrong quotes are attributed to celebrities including politicians of high repute; no reputable source is following the trend; within the text or news report, there are contradictory statements and media content fail to correlate with the message passed.
I-79 Media Consults is a media training, consultancy and career development hub which has provided career insights, advice and mentorship for more than a hundred (500) media enthusiasts directly.