Youths Digest, the organiser of annual Campus Journalism Awards & Dialogue, has trained campus journalists on developmental journalism and investigating reporting, especially on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The training, which was organised in collaboration with the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), featured Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, Executive Director, Media Career Development Network Services and Ajibola Amzat, the Editor at the International Centre for Investigative Reporting.
The first phase of the training was coordinated by Lekan Otufodunrin, who spoke on building a career in journalism.
While commenting on the need for journalists to see journalism as a social duty, the former Managing Editor of The Nation Newspaper, urged campus journalists to develop interest and skills in developmental and investigative reporting to a better and transparent society.
”Prominence should not be the goal of any journalist but being excellent in your work. You may also need to report major issues in unique and excellent ways to be noticed either by your organisation or the world generally. Do it as a duty,” he stressed.
He praised the efforts of campus journalists, who he said need more encouragement and supports.
”I must commend the zeal I have noticed in campuses by students especially those where Mass Communication is not offered, yet they have done a lot to promote campus journalism on their own. They need more encouragement and support.”
On the other hand, Aamzat, who spoke on Investigating COVID-19 Pandemic, focused on investigating guidelines for campus journalists.
He noted that the ICIR has assisted campus journalists with small grants before the arrival of COVID-19, adding that the organisation has also mentored many young writers and budding journalists.
”The opportunity is still available subject to funding we receive from our donor foundation,” he noted.
He also pointed out that campus journalists can use digital tools to report on COVID-19.
”Campus journalists can undertake reporting assignments at this period using several open-source tools available. Google, Twitter, Facebook, and other tech companies have created tools that can be used to report from home. Learn about these open sources, and use them,” Amzat stated.
Amzat also advised that journalists must also be conscious of their health while covering assignments.
”The infection does not distinguish journalists from non-journalists. It attacks all equally. Therefore, journalists covering COVID-19 need to protect themselves,” he said.
Meanwhile, Maryam Ileyemi, a Campus Journalist from Lagos State University said that the tweet chat was very enlightening and insightful. Another campus journalist from Uthman Dan-Fodio University Sokoto hailed Youths Digest for organising the workshop during this pandemic, adding that he learnt about new skills and knowledge that will be helpful in his journalism career.
Comrade Auwal Rafsanjani, the Executive Director of CISLAC, praised Youths Digest for organising the online workshops, assuring them of CISLAC’s continuous support.