The Africa Centre for Development Journalism (ACDJ) has launched an “Inequality Reporting Fellowship” programme for Nigerian journalists aimed at building their capacity to report on inequality issues at sub-national levels.
The fellowship, which began with an intensive two-day training workshop held in Lagos on August 8 and 9, 2022 for selected journalists from different parts of the country in the print, broadcast and online sectors, is an activity under ACDJ’s Sub-national Development Data Accountability Reporting Project, which is focused on inequality, underdevelopment, policy and governance.
The project is part of a Collaborative Media Partnership supported by the MacArthur Foundation through the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) with the fellowships being the first in a series to be implemented by the ACDJ over the next three years.
Resource persons and mentors at the training include Mr. Bunmi Makinwa, former Africa Regional Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Chair of the Board of ACDJ; Mr. Rotimi Sankore, Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ACDJ, who gave the fellows an overview of “Multiple Inequalities and Sub-National Development Data Reporting” and Mr. Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), who took the fellows through the “Fundamentals of/Best Practice for Investigative Journalism”.
Others were Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Executive Director of Women Advocates and Research Documentation Centre (WARDC), whose paper on the “Key Principles of Gender Equality – What Journalists Should Know” was delivered on her behalf by Ms. Emanuela Azu, the Deputy Executive Director of WARDC; Ms. Olufunke Baruwa, Program Officer for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice at the Ford Foundation, who spoke on “How Gender Based Violence Impacts on Inequality – What Journalists Should Know”, and Ms. Ogechi Onuoha, the Director of Programmes at the Marie Stopes Nigeria, speaking on “How Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Impacts on Inequality and Development – What Journalists Should Know.”
Also at the training were Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, the Executive Director of Media Career Services, who took the fellows through the “Fundamentals of/Best Practice for News Reporting and Sources”, and Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA), who familiarized the fellows with the “Fundamentals of/Best Practice for Use of Freedom of Information.”
Following the training, ACDJ will commission special fellowship reports by the selected journalists under the mentorship of experienced journalists on a range of inequalitythemes.
The themes to be covered in the reports by the fellows will include childhood/youth, economic status, education/skills, energy, food and nutrition, gender, health, housing, injustice/status before the Law, People Living With Disability, political representation, reproductive health, social status, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene.
The fellows were selected from among applicants with a track record of reporting on such inequality issues as well as other issues such as census, development, population and demography-related issues.
The selected journalists will be mentored through the special reports process for four weeks by experienced mentors while their reports will be published or broadcast by their media organizations as well as on the ACDJ’s website.