The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has committed to setting up a dedicated Solutions Journalism desk in the organisation that will focus on reporting on efforts that are addressing various social challenges across Nigeria.
The Managing Director of the agency, Mr Buki Ponle made the declaration while receiving the Nigeria Health Watch team led by the Managing Director, Mrs Vivianne Ihekweazu. Three journalists from NAN participated in the first cohort of the eight months training of newsrooms, that started in April 2021. The selected journalists from NAN were joined by three journalists from each of the other nine newsrooms from across Nigeria, taking part in the first cohort of the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative. Following their training, the journalists received support and mentorship from the Nigeria Health Watch team, supporting them to investigate responses to various social challenges across Nigeria. The stories they produced were published on the platforms of the various newsrooms. Some of the published stories were featured on the Solutions Journalism Network’s Solutions Story Tracker®, an international database that curates solutions journalism stories published all over the world.
NAN received a certificate of participation to mark the official end of their participation in the first cohort training. To emphasise their support to institutionalise the practice of solutions journalism in their newsroom, under the leadership of the Managing Director of NAN, the newsroom committed to setting up a dedicated solutions journalism desk. In addition to continued capacity development support, Nigeria Health Watch presented four desk top computers to assist the setting up of the dedicated solutions journalism desk.
A further 10 newsrooms that have nominated three journalists will shortly begin the onboarding process for the second cohort of the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative, starting in March 2022.
Presenting the certificate to NAN, Ihekweazu said “the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative project offers a unique opportunity to institutionalise the practice of solutions
journalism across newsrooms in Nigeria,” adding that “quite often, news coverage in Nigeria focuses on problems, but solutions journalism offers an alternative approach by investigating how individuals, communities, and organisations are solving these problems”. “We are happy to have provided the training and mentorship for your journalists to produce and publish articles for NAN,” Ihekweazu said.
Receiving the certificate and workstations on behalf of the agency, Mr Ponle expressed gratitude to Nigeria Health Watch for giving the agency a new direction for reporting human interest stories. “These are stories that make a difference and can contribute to the development of Nigeria,” he said.
Reinforcing the agency’s commitment to take solutions journalism beyond the project, Ponle said “It won’t be business as usual. When we kick off fully, the Nigeria media space will be saturated with reportage that focuses on solutions journalism”.
He also thanked the organisation for supporting other newsrooms as this will create an opportunity for them to collaborate with each other to report on stories that are beneficial to Nigerians.
The Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative (SJAI) project is supported by the Solutions Journalism Network and is aimed at growing the practice of Solutions Journalism in Africa. Solutions Journalism adopts a solutions-oriented approach to journalism; telling rigorous, investigative, and compelling stories of responses to existing social problems so that they can be scaled up or replicated elsewhere. It looks at what could have been done differently to improve or solve similar problems in other places. It can be used as an effective tool to hold policymakers to account by demonstrating how others are finding solutions to social problems.
About Nigeria Health Watch
Nigeria Health Watch uses informed advocacy and communication to influence health policy and seek better health and access to healthcare in Nigeria. We
seek to amplify some of the great work happening in the health sector, challenge the bad, and create a space for positive ideas and action. Through its various platforms, Nigeria Health Watch is a trusted source that provides informed commentary and in-depth analysis of health issues in Nigeria, always in good conscience. Learn more at www.nigeriahealthwatch.com
About News Agency of Nigeria
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) is a news reporting agency owned and run by the Federal Government of Nigeria. NAN is the primary news content provider for Nigeria’s News Industry, such as newspapers, electronic media, and bloggers. Established by the Nigerian Government via Decree 19 in 1976, NAN became operational on 2 October 1978. The agency’s website offers news to the worldwide audience interested in news primarily about Nigeria. The agency has a network of reporters covering all the states of the federation proving to be a valuable source of news reports published by regional and national newspapers. Learn more at www.nannews.ng
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