With strong desire to pursue its vison of elevating, transforming Africa Media landscape, narrative to international standard, award of recognition is coming across the way of Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals. This clearly shows no matter how long it takes, there is always a ray of hope for any organization which doggedly pursue its mission despite challenges.
Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals(AFYMP) received its first award of recognition/excellence on May 6, 2023. This award was given to AFYMP by the Press Council, a chapter of National Council of Campus Journalists. According to the Chapter Chairman, Comrade Joshua Adetunji, the award was given to AFYMP in recognition of AFYMP’s dedication to change Africa media narrative through media capacity development of early career/next generation journalists across Africa.
Group picture with some of the participants
Prior to the award, AFYMP on May 6, 2023 had organized a capacity development workshop to empower about 36 next generation journalists in Ibadan Oyo state who are member of The Press Council, Ibadan Polytechnic. As it is generally agreed, the pursuit of vision distinguishes many organizations from others. Walking the talk for many organizations is a big issue and here is where forward looking organizations and the rest differs.
Towards achieving AFYMP’s goal of elevating standard of media practice, changing the current narrative of media landscape across Africa will require deliberate investment and commitment. Sometimes this will demand extra work. Saturday May 6, 2023 offered another opportunity towards helping 36 next generation of journalists, broadcasters who showed determination to excel in the industry. These next generations of journalists were campus journalists of joint media and writing agencies known as “Press Council, The Ibadan Polytechnic, a chapter of National Association of Campus Journalists in Nigeria.
Welcoming the audience, the Public Relations Officer of the association, Adebayo Oluwadamiloa, thanked AFYMP team for creating such a platform where many next generations of journalists can be raised, in His words “constant learning and relearning are essential for professionals of today, finding the right plug with competent trainers is important”
Opening the session, the Chairman of the chapter, Joshua Adetunji in his remarks says “we live in a world where fakes and quarks rule, it will take a commitment from serious minded professionals to excel. For this reason, we appreciate AFYMP for its commitment to this goal. I also want to appreciate our members who are also present”.
Starting the training session that was themed “Reporting for Impact ”, Yinka Olaito. Executive director AFYMP, admonished the participants to aim to be the best by following all the demands of the profession. In his words, “No one goes far with a determination, decision to excel. But beyond determination, strategic action, learning will be demanded”.
With that said, Yinka led the participants through the training session. Yinka advised “if you truly want to report for impact, there are key steps they need to follow. These are: know the why, put on professional caps, tell the story and follow the story”.
The challenge today is that many journalists do not know the purpose of their contents. In a few instances also, many are ignorant of the laws that guide the work hence they overlook basic professional stuff that can add credibility to the work. “Those who do not know the purpose of their work can hardly follow the rules, ethics and often this will affect how their stories are told” Yinka charged.
Another important factor in reporting for impact is that journalists must know their audience, do research to produce a product fit and understand what parametres will be used to measure impact after the story has been told. Yinka advised, “Do not be a lazy journalist, producing great results here is work though it can be fun. Having basic multi platform media skills will also help today”.
In her session, Bolanle Oduekun, a health Journalist, who facilitated a session on “health reporting for impact” advised participants against creating panic through their stories. Bolanle said “Even if there is a health epidemic, stick to facts and figures and tell your target audience what to do to be safe, not just to send the wrong signal. This will start from the headlines, language use and how the situation is portrayed in your story”.
An essential part of health journalism that makes an impact is data and authenticity of source information. This is essential during an outbreak. Be sure your source has the expertise to speak on the issue. That a person is a medic does not mean s/he has authority in every field.
Bolanle Oduekun, Health Journalist speaking at event
Bolanle said “Dig deep, go beyond the surface answer, Be sure your source is not given exaggerated answers that can create panic. Crosscheck facts with others”.
The question and answer time offered opportunity for participants to interact with the faculty and show knowledge gained. The feedback forms submitted showed 90% affirmed their knowledge of reporting for impact had been enhanced by the training. Also 95% of the feedback shows the participants will appreciate continuous mentorship and training from AFYMP team.
The seminar ended around 2pm with 16 females and 20 males’ participants.