AFYMP Trains Young Media Professionals on Campus Journalism

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By Temiloluwa Erinle

After two successive workshops in a rainy Lagos couple weeks back — one focusing on Media Entrepreneurship and Thought Leadership and the other on Women in Journalism — African Foundation for Young Media Professionals (AFYMP) continued its early-career journalism development series in Ibadan, where it convened 12 selected student journalists and young media professionals.

The theme of this workshop was “Campus Journalism: Safety, Ethics and Governance.”

It was headed by Yinka Olaito, AFYMP’s executive director, a faculty of media practitioners and experts traced the trail as they wore on young professionals the ethical practice of investigative journalism, data-darting reporting, and business-modelling of campus journalism.

AFYMP was borne “out of passion, it’s out of a concern for media industry in Nigeria and Africa,” said Yinka Olaito.

“We look at the media industry, especially in Africa and in Nigeria. Yes, we are thriving, we are working hard at it, but we are still not there. So, all of us cannot be complaining about what is not working, so we decided to say, oh hey we can’t leave the new generation of media practitioners to themselves. So what do we need to invest into them? The fact also remains that most of what they learn at the university today are not really practical — they are not matching gown and town […] so we came together and said, let’s create this intervention.”

Most of the trainees arriving the evening before, the training was officially set in motion on Monday, June 20, with former Channels TV presenter and now business thought leader, Femi Ipadeola, multiple award-winning investigative journalist Adejumo Kabir of HumAngle, and associate professor at University of Lagos, Department of Mass Communication, Dr. Suraj Olunifesi wielding the red-pointer at their respective presentations.

The following day which doubled as the last day of the workshop, Lekan Otufodunrin, executive director of Media Career Development Network and former editor at The Nations, and Ifedayo Ogunyemi, a senior reporter at Nigerian Tribune shone the last light.

The program was officially brought to an end with the trainees receiving certificates of participation and departing their accommodation at Academy Suites, where they stayed throughout the workshop duration.

After the training, Emmanuel Oluwadola, a student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba (AAUA) and a trainee of the workshop, believes his for-long-sought prayers have been answered. 

“I want to go into journalism,” he told The Press Club, UNILAG.

“I want to go into journalism but I [usually]don’t see the platform to train me. I see this as an opportunity to grow.”

His most dearly held take-away was the importance of rigor and caution in journalism — for the safety of truth and journalists. He is motivated, he said, to go back home, speedily, engage his university community, more and better, and use the investigative hoes and cutlasses handed over to farm truth.

With a “new extra-rich experience,” Owooluwa Olaomo, a 300-level mass communications student of University of Lagos, wants to restrategize and restructure her plans, even career aspirations.

“From the beginning I thought I was going to do PR (public relations) and advertisement, but looking at it, I am seeing something in broadcast, and I hated broadcast [journalism][…] what the speakers said must have impacted me.”

She has learnt some of the workshop modules in class, as a mass communications student, but the field experience shared by the workshop facilitators and workshop drills, she believes, are an added advantage, richly.

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