Information sharing in today’s world has become easier than it was 10 or 20 years ago. These days, almost everyone can assume the role of a journalist, hence the more critical, the media’s role in educating, informing, entertaining and influencing public opinion in Nigeria.
This created a need for an avenue where media practitioners can familiarise themselves with the tools that are able to meet the demands of the present day, as well as best practices in light of the digital revolution and the power of social media.
British Council, UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, decided to meet this need by hosting a capacity building workshop for the Nigerian media on November 3, 2017 in Lagos.
The session featured thought leaders in the field of journalism, branding and digital marketing.
Speaking on personal branding for journalists at the session, renowned marketing expert Lampe Omoyele mentioned the power of personal branding in the global space. Drawing from his over 25 years personal experience in marketing spanning fast moving consumer goods, global brands and currently in advertising, Lampe noted the need for journalists to build perceptions based on experiences people have with them.
Journalists at the session were reminded of the power of collaboration globally by renowned journalist Peter Ogbu Okwoche, a Senior Reporter at the BBC in London. Before his career at the BBC, Peter worked in print and radio media in Nigeria. He drew on his experience with international collaborations, the attendant benefits, opportunities and how to build relationships with international media houses.
Peter mentioned the importance of integrity, adding that journalists should understand their role in objective, unbiased reporting. Peter urged the journalists to maintain their integrity and strive to keep their character and reputation intact, warning that the “brown envelope” can pull all their years of hardwork down within a twinkling of an eye.
The influence of digital in how journalists operate and report news was also a key session at the workshop and the session was facilitated by Abasiama Idaraesit, Managing Director, Wild Fusion Limited.
Abas spoke on the wide opportunities available for journalists, tools available on the internet, and also on the value of Search Engine Optimisation for enabling audiences discover good content.
Today, people do not go out to look for news, news finds you, Abas said, adding that journalists must tailor their stories to the intended audience bearing in mind the importance of mobile users on the internet.
Understanding the role of the media in managing sensitive content was also discussed at the session facilitated by Lauratu Umar Abdusalam, communication specialist and Media Engagement Advisor, Palladium. The content was analysed from a gender and conflict sensitive perspective, where salient issues as it involves gender inequality and content of reports as it affects conflict where discussed.
Speaking at the session on the reason the training was designed, Lucy Pearson, Country Director, British Council Nigeria noted the huge role played by the media in Nigeria. “As UK’s international Organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, British Council Nigeria constantly seeks different ways of creating opportunities by providing platforms where knowledge can be shared amongst key stakeholders. For us, this workshop is timely as we constantly seek to develop different sectors in the economy through capacity building initiatives and the media
is one of such”.
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