AFYMP Trains 40 Campus Journalists on Safety and Precaution in Community Journalism

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Mr. Yinka Olaito, Executive Director, Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

The Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals (AFYMP) on February 24, 2024, held a capacity-building training for student journalists at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Campus Mirror newspaper on reporting for impact to instil the best practices in storytelling which entails purpose, news gathering, data, fact-checking, marketing and news impact measurement.

The one-day event titled “Freelance/Campus Journalism Safety Workshop” was held on January 27, 2024, at the Health Science Lecture Theatre A of Obafemi Awolowo University.

In his welcome and opening remarks, Mr. Gbolahan Latinwon, President of OAU, ACJ, expressed the association’s gratitude to the AFYMP team as well as encouraged association members to place a premium on the knowledge to be shared. He said: “As freelance, or campus journalists we must prioritise our own safety in the bid to effectively do our job. We face opposition and we must understand what to do per time.”

Mr. Yinka Olaito, Executive Director of AFYMP, who was the lead facilitator of the programme noted that journalists at every level face different types of challenges and safety issues. He added that making the right choices and preventing possible unnecessary exposure should be a priority. He stated that: “In the course of your daily action as freelance or campus journalists, you need to make choices with regards to how to stay alive before you can tell any story.”

He pointed out that the issues of journalists’ safety are now important as journalists are often maimed, wounded or imprisoned while doing their work.

Furthermore, Mr. Olaito said that journalists must understand that safety begins from taking precautions, ensuring they understand the terrain as well as making sure there are enough safety tools available in case the situation demands the use of one.

He stressed the significance of digital safety, advising journalists to be cautious with their digital presence. He also emphasized that being unnecessarily a night owl could be perilous, pointing out that this is particularly important for journalists covering corruption, drug-related and conflict zone reporting.

The session lasted for about four hours and had 18 male and 22 female ACJ members participating.