Nigerian lecturers set to launch initiatives to entrench solutions journalism

…expected to shape future of journalism education in West Africa

In order to promote positive approaches to telling African stories using the principles of solutions journalism, a set of Nigerian lecturers have finalised plans to launch a series of initiatives.

The launch of the initiatives will commence with the unveiling of Solutions Journalism Educators Network (SJEN) on Saturday 23rd March 2024, starting at 4:30 PM WAT.

Solutions Journalism Educators Network is a body of media, communication and journalism teachers promoting solutions storytelling in West Africa.

The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Dele Odunlami, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye.

Professor Odunlami who was a broadcast journalist before his sojourn in academics would speak to the theme of the event – Advancing Roadmap to Sustainable Intake of Solutions Journalism (SoJo) in the Nigerian Higher Education Ecosystem.

Distinguished guests at the event will include Francine Huff, the Director of Journalism Schools Partnership, Solutions Journalism Network, New York; Dr. Tunde Akanni, an Associate Professor and Director of Digital Media Research Centre, Lagos State University, Ojo. Dr. Akanni doubles as the chairman of the panel.

Other guests include Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, Executive Director, Media Career Development Network, Lagos; Chibuike Alagboso, Senior Programme Manager, Nigeria Health Watch, Abuja; Mr Taiwo Obe of the Journalism Clinic Nigeria; Dr. Ruqayyah Yusuf Aliyu, Senior Lecturer, Department of Information and Media Studies, Bayero University, Kano and Dr. Kola Adesina, Head of Department of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The panel session, to be chaired by Dr. Tunde Akanni, will interrogate the theme of the launch “Advancing Roadmap to Sustainable Intake of Solutions Journalism (SoJo) in the Nigerian Higher Education Ecosystem.”

Panelists will engage in discussions on the importance of integrating the solutions approach into journalism education, strategies for implementation, and the role of academic institutions in fostering sustainable solutions journalism practices.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Solutions Journalism Educators Network, a platform dedicated to promoting excellence and innovation in journalism education,” said Rasheed Adebiyi, Co-Convener of the Network.

“Through collaborative efforts with industry leaders, academic experts and school administrators, we aim to equip media educators with the tools and resources needed to cultivate a new generation of journalists committed to impactful storytelling and social change.

“As part of the network’s commitment to fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing, we would organise Solutions Journalism Educators Meetups providing a platform for educators to exchange ideas, share best practices, and collaborate on projects related to solutions journalism,” added Jamiu Folarin, Co-Convener of the Network.

Folarin further said that the network would actively participate in academic conferences where members will present research papers and engage in discussions on the role of solutions journalism in addressing societal challenges.

While acknowledging the support of the Nigeria Health Watch (NHW) and Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) through the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative, Folarin noted that this effort is integral part of the strategies to raise awareness on the importance of solutions journalism in academic discourses.

He noted that the Network would involve all critical stakeholders in the academia adding that other strategies to enhance the teaching and practice of Solutions Journalism from the campus would be deployed by the Network.

He called on lecturers, researchers, journalists, policy makers, students, change makers and the general public to REGISTER to be part of the event.