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April 16, 2024
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IPC trains Ondo journalists on Making Govt accountable to Rural Dwellers

By: Our Reporter

Journalists in Ondo State and the country at large have been enjoined to give priority to reporting challenging confront rural dwellers for government to tackle.

The call was made at a one day training workshop held on Thursday 30th November, 2023, and organised for some media professionals in Akure, the Ondo State capital by the International Press Centre (IPC) in collaboration with the state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The training was organised under the auspices of the NIGERIAN JOURNALISTS’ SAFETY INITIATIVE, one of the components of a three-year project on ‘Safety Awareness and Impactful Reporting of Communities’ being implemented by IPC with the support of the Open Society Foundation (OSF).

Resourced persons at the training also  charged journalists to be security-conscious while discharging their duties and off-duty.

A seasoned journalist, Anikeade Funke-Treasure, while taking the selected journalists through “Approaches To Impactful Reporting And Safety In Reporting Grassroots Development” at a one-day workshop, observed that several journalists, particularly in the print media, were murdered and their killers could not be traced.

Funke-Treasure told journalists at the One-Day Capacity Building for local journalists on Impactful Reporting Of Grassroots Development Issues And Safety Consciousness sponsored by International Press Centre (IPC) and Open Society, that as a matter of compulsion, they must get security Apps on their handsets and other devices to protect themselves from political goons and overzealous security agents who are not comfortable with the way they do their jobs in adherence to the ethics of the profession.

She emphasized that society still relies on journalists to make their grievances and demands known to the people at the helm of the affairs of the nation.

The seasoned journalist called on editors and general managers of media houses to always make the safety of their reporters a priority while sending them out, especially on special reports by creating emergency contact through which the reporters could raise red flags.

Also, the resource person advised journalists to get themselves acquainted with international and national laws as well as human rights.

She, therefore, charged the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to protect its members through the Life Assurance policy.

Delivering his lecture, the Ondo State Chairman of NUJ, Prince Leke Adegbite, who engaged the journalists on the “Role Of Media In Making Government Accountable To The Grassroots,” enjoined newsmen in the country to dwell more on reporting happenings in the rural areas for the dwellers to enjoy government’s presence.

The NUJ Chairman noted that people in government can’t be aware of all the challenges of the people across the nation, but with reports from journalists, the needs of the people would be known to them.

Adegbite, therefore, charged journalists to continue to serve as the bridge between the governed and governing body through grassroots reporting.

In a welcome address, an IPC official, Mrs. Melody Akinjiyan, the Program Officer said the training was put together under the auspices of the NIGERIAN JOURNALISTS’ SAFETY INITIATIVE, one of the components of a three-year project on “Safety Awareness and Impactful Reporting of Communities” being implemented by IPC with the support of the Open Society Foundation (OSF).

Mrs. Akinjiyan said the goal is to train journalists to be able to use their intricate skills and best practices to advance reportage of human and developmental issues affecting the country under safe conditions.

According to her, developmental journalism is indispensable to achieving democratic governance and cannot be overstressed thus the need for the media to monitor and hold leaders accountable towards fulfilling their obligations, by engaging diverse communities and reflecting their perspectives, experiences, and opinions in ways that reverse the dangerous trends towards toxic polarization and societal fragmentation.

“IPC shall also today launch one of the outcomes of the Safety Awareness and Impactful Reporting of Communities Project, a ‘Resource Guide on Impactful Reporting of Grassroots Development Issues & Safety Conscious Journalism’. While copies of the publication will be presented to us, the ensuing discourse is expected to also lead to an improved reportage of developmental issues at the community levels.
Grassroots journalism is about more than just highlighting stories from neglected communities;

“Sometimes, it can also be the catalyst for major positive change in these areas, this is why IPC, and the funder of this project anticipates that today’s training shall evidently strengthen your professional skills and improve overall your reportage of developmental issues at the community and grassroots levels in the local governments.

“Therefore, six (6) months after this training, we expect to be able to capture and measure your impact driven reports. Importantly, we would like to see how your reports have helped to bring about developmental changes in our various communities in at least 50% of local governments in the State.”

At the end of the training, Anikeade Funke-Treadure Akintoye with the NUJ Chairman launched a book entitled: “Grassroots Development Issues. A Resource Manual on Impactful Reporting And Safety Consciousness.”

The 42-page book was packaged by Anikeade Funke-Treadure Akintoye and Tunde Aremu, while the preface was written by Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, IPC.

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