Rewards seven journalists for outstanding reports and commitments to reporting education sector in their states

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Journalism Development Programme 2 is a one year project on education reporting, supported by Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) and aimed at developing the media capacity to bring all education stakeholders to the appreciation of and action towards quality education in Nigeria.

JDP 2 is a follow up to Journalism Development Programme (JDP) 1 which ended in 2011, after series of sensitization, trainings and mentoring of education journalists in six ESSPIN states and FCT. The project successfully built the capacity of about 130 journalists.

JDP 2 did not only build capacity of the media practitioners, it also strengthened the link between the media and the Civil Societies who have shown great commitment towards making right and accurate information available when consulted. The Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA) at both state and local level were part of the process from sensitization to trainings. The project employed the immersion approach of media development to achieve its objectives through sensitization, training, interaction with CS, field trips, mentoring and award.

JDP 2 has increased the total number of journalists trained under Journalism Development Programme to about 270, having built the capacity of about 140 journalists. It also engaged 51 CSO representatives within its implementation year.

The project rewarded seven of the 19 finalists and mentees in Abuja on 30th August, 2013 with news gathering and reporting equipment at state level while two among them who emerged as best in print and broadcast respectively were rewarded with high grade news processing equipment (IPAD and editing computer) to enable them deliver prompt stories to their mediums.

The project has been able to stir up journalists (within and outside the project) to produce education stories from an objective perspective and use of action pictures. This is evident in the style of news report on education in the media today. For instance, ’stories like students study under trees’, ‘a school in need’ etc with pictures of dilapidated facilities are JDP pattern most of which are seen in the media today that were rarely seen due to anticipated fear and its resulting self-censorship.

The scope of JDP was extended to other states and media besides state of implementation due to journalists reposting and change of organisations. For instance, Amina Anebi of the Road in Kaduna now writes for Leadership in Sokoto while Ankeli Emmanuel (Leadership, Kaduna) was posted to Sokoto. Kunle Awosiyan used to work with National Mirror but now freelance for Newswatch and other papers.  Murjanatu Saeed who used to report for NTA in Kano now reports in Abuja.

About 106 stories were submitted for assessment by about 40 journalists after the state capacity building and national capacity building during the implementation year. 32 of these stories were submitted for JDP 2013 Award by 15 journalists who made it to the final stage, out of which seven were selected for the state awards. The participants wrote several education reports during the implementation year some of which they did not tracked (especially in TV and Radio)

A number of journalists have been marked as anti-government in their states but were not deterred as this has improved state governments actions to restore the public primary education sector evident by infrastructural upgrading of affected schools and confrontation of journalists by the government officials in the states.

JDP has as one of its objective to inform the public of their rights, responsibilities and roles to securing a better quality education for all Nigerians. The project canvassed through the media for community ownership and participatory approach to education management, which is one of the development pillars of ESSPIN. Kaduna state SUBEB chairman, when visited during the field trip after the state capacity building in Kaduna confirmed that education in the state had drastically improved due to ESSPIN strategic approach to school management which the government had imbibed.

JDP Award 2013 which was held at WestPoint Hotel Abuja on August 2013 completes JDP 2.

Posted by: Ayodele Adesanmi