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Nigeria Health Watch partners new cohort of newsroom, trains journalists on SoJo




THE Nigeria Health Watch has trained a new set of journalists for its second cohort on Solution Journalism.

The cohort had three participants from 10 different newsrooms across the country, including The ICIR, Daily Times, NAN and Radio Nigeria.

The training which lasted for two days in Abuja exposed about 40 journalists to the four pillars of Solution Journalism and emphasised the need for journalists to write about individuals or organisations that are setting good examples in the country.

The training is part of the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative project implemented by Nigeria Health Watch with support from the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN).

According to a report from Nigeria Health Watch, the first cohort received their training in 2021 and were supported to produce and publish solutions-focused stories across multiple platforms.

The Managing Director of the Organisation, Vivianne Ihekweazu, applauded the journalists for their rigorous investigations and enjoined them to also put the same energy into reporting solution stories.

“It is important to look at how communities and individuals are solving various social problems and provide them with platforms to show what they are doing despite the challenges,” she said.

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Speaking further, she said the initiative would expose journalists to amazing opportunities which would redefine the way news is reported in Nigeria – providing an alternative news option and empowering Nigerians by showing where solutions have been found to everyday problems in the country, and not only reinforcing the often-accepted narrative.

Also, in its bid to introduce and sensitize the community about solution reporting, Nigeria Health Watch has also announced 10 fellows that would be on the course for the duration of four months.

The fellows will produce stories about non-governmental organisations that are changing the narrative and will also advocate for more solution reporting.

The Solutions Journalism Africa fellows, as part of the initiative, also joined the newsroom nominees in the training and would be supported to produce stories and also deliverables in line with their contracts.

“We are thrilled to announce recipients of the Solutions Journalism Africa fellowship. The fellowship is part of the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, USA.

“Over the next four months, the 10 selected fellows will produce and publish stories of how people are responding to various social problems across Nigeria and in their communities.

“They will also amplify the practice of solutions journalism through their various project ideas from advocacy visits to journalism training institutions and facilitating solutions journalism training,” the fellows said.

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A fellow, Usman Aliyu, principal Correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria, who spoke with The ICIR, said the training was inspiring.

Abdulrasheed Adebiyi was elated when chosen as a fellow to participate in the two-day training. He said winning the fellowship was a call to do more in moving the country to the right direction

Adebiyi, who holds a PhD in Communication and Language Arts, teaches PR and Advertising, News Writing and Reporting as well as Development Communication at the Department of Mass Communication, Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria.

He would discharge his duty by advocating solution journalism

Adeniyi also promised to ensure the input of the solution journalism curriculum into the related courses.

“The focus of my project is majorly advocacy and promoting conversations that will lead to the mainstreaming of the principles of Solutions Journalism not only in the newsrooms but also in the classrooms. I plan advocacy visits to selected media houses as well as media and communication learning centres.

“I have given myself the mandate of having at least one of the selected media outlets establish a Solutions Journalism desk or unit. Similarly, I hope to also ensure the Solutions Journalism curriculum is integrated into related courses such as news writing and reporting, specialized reporting and development communication. Additionally, I equally plan to push Solutions Journalism into the mainstream of pedagogical and practice discussions to give it visibility.” Adebiyi said.

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In her remarks, Ruona Meyer, the Africa Initiative Manager at the SJN, said negative reporting has deprived journalists the power to build society through constructive reporting and has denied audiences of a comprehensive view of the news.

She therefore enjoined journalists to promote Solution journalism and ensure that audiences are empowered with the contents they consume.

About Health Watch

Nigeria Health Watch uses informed advocacy and communication to influence health policy and seek better health and access to healthcare in Nigeria.




Author profile

Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: umustapha@icirnigeria.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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