CJID Trains UDUS Students On Evidence-based Reporting

By Ismaila Biliaminu 

The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) through its Campus Reporter Project has trained 52 Campus Journalists and Mass Communication students at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS), Sokoto State.

The four-day training which held at the University's Faculty of Social Sciences Boardroom, from Monday 16th October to 19th October 2023 was aimed to explore the participants on evidence-based reporting, accountability journalism, and News editing.

In his opening  remark, Bisan Habu, the partnerships and Grants Manager of the journalism program at the CJID noted that Training, Internship, and Mentoring qualify CJID in one aspect, while  journalism, innovation, verification, and development also qualify the organization in another aspect.  

 He also mentioned that the organization  has projects such as the UDEME-CJID project which covers abandoned constituency projects to hold the leaders accountable, Campus Reporter project like the campus reporter clinic,  Accountability journalism  and fact-checking which are under Dubawa Project.

The training introduced the students to the ways journalism can be utilized to hold the power accountable and the safety tips for Campus Journalists. The participants were taken through sessions on Newsgathering, Tools for Investigative Reporting, Source Mapping, Interviewing Skills, introduction to Fact-Checking, Data Journalism, Gender-Transformative Approach to storytelling, News Editing, and Collaborative editing tools, which were facilitated by renowned journalists from the Premium Times, Wikkitimes, Dubawa and CJID.

The facilitators paired the participants into 5 groups and requested them to pitch underreported issues in their campus community based on what they gained from the training. The facilitators reviewed the pitches and asked the participants to submit their stories a day before the last day of the training. 

On the last day, Thursday, 19th October 2023, after submitting and assessing their report drafts, the facilitators acknowledged the performance of participants and their efforts on the ethics of journalism and the importance of evidence-based reporting on campus.

In an interview with this reporter, the project officer, Iretomiwa Dele-Yusuff, said, "The campus journalism training at UDUS has been a great one, we want to actualize everything we plan to and even more there were several sessions to leap on to take, we were so in need to teach them due to the gap  in knowledge we found among participants."

"The participants are also quite receptive to the knowledge they got, and within the first day and last day we saw a lot of improvement in their positivity to join journalism on campus and it increased their courage to go forward, and their skills were improved in the four days. I believe it is a great initiative by the CJID to encourage Media sustainability and train journalists to carry out evidence-based reporting on campus."

 "The participants were quite eager to learn, on the first day they were a little bit reserved but as the days went on, they began to improve and they began to speak out more and it was also a delight to see the ladies also speak and flow the class, She shared. 

Ms. Iretomiwa advised the participants to keep at it and read more to be good reporters. "My advice to the participants is that they should keep at it, they should read more, so they can be better writers and they should be disciplined in ensuring that they publish stories at least once per week, that way will rigid their skills, they are going to practice everything they are willing to and then they will be able to publish more stories in the nearest future, they will have bylines to their names even before graduating from school," She said.

Reactions From Participants

In his reactions,  the President of the National Association of Campus Journalists (NACJ), Abdulwasiu Olokooba, revealed that he felt fulfilled for hosting the training since it has been a long time ambition which didn’t come to reality as a result of some hitches. 

“I am very grateful to GOD and very glad that this happened during my time on campus and not only that, during my administration and even the reason CJID visited UDUS and trained over 51 campus journalists in my school, so I feel very blessed despite all the challenges because I'll tell you we face a lot of challenges, but despite the challenges this training later become a success," He expressed.  

Olokooba charged participants to utilize what they have learnt as a stepping stone for their career.  

While expressing gratitude to the organizers of the program,  AYINLA Abdulbasit Olorunoje, another participant said: “I would like to say a big thank you to NACJ, UDUS for organizing the program for us, the CJID for honouring us a good and sound training, and I would also like to say a big thank you to the Campus reporters project's team for their time, dedication and determination in building vibrant journalists.”

“The training was an eye-opening one as things that were not known to us were introduced to us by our wonderful facilitators. The importance of data inclusion was also one of the major things I learned during the training. I will rate my journalism knowledge as average before the training and now I can say my knowledge is beyond the average level now as I learned numerous things during the training,” Abdulbasit told this Reporter.

As for Aisha Kamaldeen Temilolu,  “The training program was designed to be both educational and engaging, providing a structured and well-organized learning experience. The facilitators were not only knowledgeable and experienced but also passionate and enthusiastic about the subject matter.” 

"This made the training both informative and enjoyable, as it felt like a journey of exploration and discovery. I left the training feeling enlightened and enriched, with a deeper understanding of the concepts covered. It was an incredibly positive and worthwhile experience," Aisha said.

At the closing ceremony of the training, participants were presented with certificates. They were also informed that they could send their stories to the Campus Reporter editor with the required guidelines for editing and publishing.

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