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Nigeria Health Watch Welcomes New Cohort of Newsrooms for the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative

The second cohort of 10 newsrooms spreading solutions journalism and telling important stories about responses to social problems across Nigeria

Nigeria Health Watch has kicked off the second cohort of newsrooms working to expand 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 various social problems so that they can be scaled up or replicated elsewhere. It differs from traditional, often problem-focused journalism because it highlights what works, as opposed to what does not, and goes further to investigate why an intervention or solution to a social problem was able to bring change.

Three nominees from 10 newsrooms from across Nigeria participated in a two-day in-person training in Abuja to learn why solutions journalism matters and the framework for producing it. The training is part of the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative project implemented by Nigeria Health Watch with support from the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN). The first cohort received their training in 2021 and were supported by the project team to produce and publish solutions-focused stories across multiple platforms.

Speaking at the training, the Managing Director of Nigeria Health Watch, Vivianne Ihekweazu said “It is important to look at how communities and individuals are solving various social problems and provide them with platforms to show what they are doing despite the challenges.” The initiative, she said, therefore presents a unique opportunity to redefine the way news is reported in Nigeria – providing an alternative news option and empowering Nigerians by showing where solutions have been found to everyday problems in the country, and not only reinforcing the often-accepted narrative.

In her remarks, Ruona Meyer, the Africa Initiative Manager at the SJN said negative reporting has denied audiences of a holistic view of the news and denied journalists the power to build society through constructive reporting. She encouraged the participants to be part of this movement that is ensuring that audiences are empowered with the contents they consume.

The training culminated in a visit to the Wassa Internally Displaced Persons camp where participants interacted with community members to not only learn about their challenges, but also how they are working hard to respond to those challenges.

According to the Managing Editor, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) Abijola Amzat, “The ICIR is happy to partner with Nigeria Health Watch to mainstream Solutions Journalism in Nigeria. We know that the material conditions of Nigerians are difficult now, but there are efforts from various sectors to improve situations. We believe journalists should report both the problems and the solution people are seeking to improve lives. Therefore, this collaboration matters. Our goal is to produce journalists with a complete sense of awareness of the negative and the positive experiences of the people. We hope this project will bring us closer to the achievement of that objective.” The ICIR is one of the 10 newsrooms participating in the second cohort.

The practice of Solutions Journalism has continued to grow in Africa and the Nigeria Health Watch Torchlight series uses the approach to report on responses to health problems in Nigeria, with the Torchlight Africa series providing narratives of solutions in other African countries. To further expand the practice in Africa, the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative will train newsrooms in Nigeria and Kenya on solutions journalism.

Following their training, the journalist nominees from the newsrooms will be supported and mentored over five months to investigate, write, produce, publish, or broadcast their solutions stories.

The Solutions Journalism Africa fellows, a fellowship launched by Nigeria Health Watch as part of the Initiative joined the newsroom nominees in the training. They will also be supported to produce their stories and other fellowship deliverables in the next four months.

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 the Solutions Journalism Network

The Solutions Journalism Network is a US-based 501(c)3 organisation that trains and connects journalists to cover what’s missing in today’s news: how people are responding to problems. The Solutions Journalism Network is leading a global shift in journalism, focused on what the news misses most often: how people are trying to solve problems and what we can learn from their successes or failures. Our mission is to transform journalism so that all people have access to news that helps them envision and build a more equitable and sustainable world.

For more details:

Contact: Chibuike Alagboso

Email: chibuike@nigeriahealthwatch.com

Phone number: +234 806 394 6394

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