Africa Centre for Development Journalism Commences Inaugural Inequality Reporting Fellowship with 10 Nigerian Journalists

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The Africa Centre for Development Journalism (ACDJ) has commenced the inaugural Inequality Reporting Fellowship with 10 Nigerian journalists shortlisted out of 293 applications.

The fellowship kickstarted with a two-day residential training workshop held as part of the Fellowship in Lagos with participants coming from various media organisations and specialities. Organised under the ACDJ’s Sub-National Development Data Accountability Reporting Project, the workshop focused on building the capacity of journalists to report on inequality at State and Local Government levels.

In his opening remarks, Bunmi Makinwa, ACDJ Board Chair and Former Africa Regional Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) stated that data-based development journalism should ask questions and provide relevant answers.

According to him, “This (the fellowship) is about journalism, about development, about population, about inequalities and about data. It is about putting the nexus of these elements together and the Africa Centre for Development Journalism is one that queries economic, social, governance and policy issues around us and is asking: What are the deficits in human development? Where are these gaps? Why do they exist? What are the implications? Whom is responsible for the gaps? What should be done?”

Participants were taken through different modules such including: Multiple inequalities and sub national development data reporting; Fundamentals of/best practice for investigative journalism; How gender based violence impacts on inequality – what journalists should know; Fundamentals of/best practice for news reporting and sources; Key principles of gender equality – what journalists should know; and fundamentals/best practice for use of Freedom of Information (FOI) – all facilitated by seasoned resource persons.

Facilitators at the workshop included Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR); Olufunke Baruwa, Programme Officer, Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice, Ford Foundation; Lekan Otufodunrin, Executive Director, Media Career Services; and Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Executive Director, Women Advocates, Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) represented by Deputy Executive Director Emmanuela Azu. Others are Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda (MRA); Adesola Ayo-Aderele, former Online Editor, Punch Newspaper; and Rotimi Sankore E.D / Editor-in-Chief, ACDJ.

Prior to the workshop the ACDJ held an Editors Roundtable in collaboration with the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) to share data findings on how inequality at sub national levels impacts on significant national issues such as insecurity and the ongoing education crisis.

The ACDJ’s Inequality Reporting Fellowship is part of the Collaborative Media Partnership Project supported by the MacArthur Foundation through the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ). A total of 293 applications were received from across Nigeria. Selected journalists are from: BBC, The Cable Newspaper, Channels Television, Daily Trust Newspaper, Punch Newspapers, Premium Times, TVC News, and Platform Times.

The selected journalists will be supported to investigate and publish/broadcast data-based reports on various inequalities related to economic inequality, gender, income, fragility/insecurity, health, political representation, sexual and reproductive health, energy, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).