By Precious Oluwole
In a bid to expand the frontiers of safety of journalists, International Press Center, IPC on Thursday, trained Journalists across Ondo State on Impactful Reporting of Grassroots Development and Safety Consciousness for local journalists.
According to the Program Officer, Mrs Melody Akinjiyan who spoke on behalf of IPC, 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).
Akinjiyan expressed that 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.
She stressed that 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.
She added that IPC has previously implemented a broad range of capacity development and interventions towards ensuring that the media continues to serve as a purveyor and catalyst for major change, she further noted that IPC has scaled up its interventions to further the cause of grassroots journalism by equipping local journalists with requisite skills for solution driven reporting of human and social development issues as well as learning to disseminate same using sets of skills and methodologies.
She, however, urged participants to step down the training and to also put what has been learnt into practice in order to fast track the process of birthing developmental changes in their various communities.
Giving a lecture on Approaches to Impactful Reporting & Safety in Reporting Grassroots Development, Ms. Anikeade Funke-Treasure while profering answers to fundamental questions on safety of journalists admonished journalists to be versed in national and international laws, be private and not predictable while watching out for tell tales signs whenever on assignments.
She particularly restated the need to learn to blend into respective environments when on assignments, have first aid training skills, while also admonishing media houses to have emergency contact numbers in the newsroom and to conduct thorough risk assessment before sending out journalist to flash points.
She also used the opportunity to note the need to pay journalists decent wage stressing that a poorly paid journalists is already vulnerable by all standards
Also delivering a paper on the role of the media in making government accountable to the grassroots, the Ondo State NUJ Chairman, Prince Leke Adegbite had an interactive session with participants with many of them sharing from their personal experiences.
The major highpoint of the event is the unveiling of IPC’s publication: ” Resource Guide on Impactful Reporting of Grassroots Development Issues & Safety Conscious Journalism” as well as distribution of same to all participants.