Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Rivers State University Vice Chancellor Praises SWIJ Empowerment of Female Student Journalists

Training female students in Nigeria’s campus universities helps prepare them ahead for better entry qualification into a highly digitslised and evolved media landscape.


Professor Nlerum Okogbule, Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University, has lauded the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Step-up for Women In Journalism Initiative (SWIJ) for their dedication to advancing gender equality in media and communication.

Professor Okogbule expressed his appreciation in Port Harcourt while hosting a delegation from SWIJ and faculty members from the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies. The visit preceded a one-day capacity-building workshop for student journalists, titled “From Classroom to Newsroom.”

The Team lead of SWIJ, Ann Godwin told the Vice Chancellor that the objective of the training was to harvest, mentor and build capacities of future female Newsroom Champions to equip them with the skills needed to function professionally in newsrooms and hopefully close the gender gap in Nigerian media industry.

The Dean of the  Faculty, Professor  Richard Amadi, at the training, charged the students to utilise the training opportunity to improve their skills and carve a niche for themselves in the prestigious Journalism career.

Represented by Dr Sarah Joe, a senior lecturer at the Faculty, Prof Amadi thanked SWIJ, WSCIJ and the Gates Foundation for the noble initiative and called for a sustained partnership with the faculty towards raising newsroom Champions and leaders in the media industry.

The  Mass Media and Information Management Coordinator of Search for Common Ground (SFCG) Sunny Dada, facilitated the session on Data and Digital Journalism while Godwin spoke on techniques for Investigative Reporting, Pitching and storytelling.

There were also participants from the University of Port Harcourt and Ignatius Ajuru University.

The students commended the training, saying it has a great mental shift towards their journey in Journalism.

A 200-level Communication and Media Studies student,  said, “Through this training, I have been made to understand that the traditional method of journalism has passed, we are now in the  era of fact-checking, Investigative, data and digital Journalism where some tools can be used to add value the reports we do.”

Another student,Andikan Prince, said. “The workshop was engaging and impactful one. We were inspired and mentored.  The knowledge shared is indeed, paving the way for future of female journalists’. 

The delegation to the Vice Chancellor’s office included the University Director of Research and Development, Professor Godwin Okon, lecturers in the Faculty, SWIJ stakeholders, Dr Ijeoma Tubosia, and Precious Akutamadu.

The event, organized by SWIJ in collaboration with WSCIJ’s Reportwomen project and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, empowered over 40 students from the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies with the skills to excel in the journalism industry.

The Vice Chancellor’s commendation highlights the university’s commitment to promoting gender inclusivity in media and journalism, aligning with the initiatives of WSCIJ, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and SWIJ.

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