By Edoamaowo Udeme
In an effort to build the capacity of journalists in this digital era, The British Council in Nigeria hosted a 2 day workshop with thought leaders in the field of journalism, branding and marketing for the media.
The capacity building workshop held in Abuja, was second in a series of capacity building initiatives for journalists by the Council to address issues as it affects the media.
Representing the British Council, Louisa Waddingham, Director of Programmes, British Council Nigeria on the reasons the training was designed said
“The British Council is the UK’s International Organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities and the different programmes carried out by the organisation are focused on creating opportunities for people in Nigeria”.
“This includes providing platforms where knowledge can be shared amongst key stakeholders that will prompt development”. Louisa added.
Also speaking at the event, Dr Bob Arnot, Programme Director, Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN)/ Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) in British Council shared a few of the development projects run by the British Council.
He explained that “working with the police in Nigeria has provided an opportunity for a perception change through different training initiatives”.
“These initiatives are from earlier programmes run by the British Council like the Justice for All programme”. said Arnot.
“Within the traditional setting and how the British Council through the current European Union funded programme, Managing Conflict in Nigeria train traditional rulers and their wives in ways of managing conflict within
their communities” Arnot stressed
One of the speakers, Arukaino Umukoro, CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the year, addressed the importance of verifying facts before publication in the media.
In his topic, ‘Upholding journalism ethics in the age of social media – Sifting facts from fake news’, Umukoro shared a few case studies where fake news led to fatality and drew the team’s attention to its professional ethics in spite of the digital pace and pressure to simply break a news item.
On Conflict sensitive journalism, Lauratu Umar Abdusalam, Communication Specialist and Media Engagement Advisor, Palladium, spoke on being ethical and conflict sensitive towards reporting especially as the election approaches in the country.
Other issued discussed were; Equality Diversity and Inclusion in the Nigerian media, Collaborations in the media space, Storytelling in contemporary Nigeria, Child Protection and Impact of our activities on the environment.
Another speaker, Lanre Phillips of Elpee Consulting, a Sales/ Marketing and Brand professional spoke to the journalists on the ‘value of storytelling in reportage’.
Phillips used the opportunity to share the best ways of engaging audiences using storytelling and also shared global best
practices and trends.
The power of collaboration with international media was led by Chiagozie Nwonwu, a Senior Broadcast Journalist at the BBC’s new Igbo Language service.
Nwonwu drew on his experience on collaborations within the creative writing industry and within the media, prompting the journalists present at the session to come up with collaboration ideas across their represented media organisations.
The media’s role in educating, informing, entertaining and influencing public opinion in Nigeria has been more critical in recent times. This follows digital access where everyone and anyone can assume the role of a journalist.
The British Council has worked with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society.
Last year alone, it reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people
overall including online, broadcasts and publications.
With 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government, British Council contributes to changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.