The Nigeria Health Watch (NHW), a non-governmental organization, has celebrated the continuous spread of Solutions Journalism across media organizations in Nigeria, as it closes out the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative (SJAI) Project.
The SJAI project is funded by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.
The project featured newsroom engagements, fellowships, field visits, radio and social media engagements, support newsrooms, bacon newsrooms, SoJo meetups, and collaborative story projects.
While delivering her welcome remarks, Vivianne Ihekweazu, the Managing Director, NHW explained that using a solutions approach in reporting is a different orientation from the regular bad news that journalists report.
Ihekweazu noted that through the project, the pattern of reporting news in Nigeria has changed positively.
“This initiative has been important in shaping the way news are reported in Nigeria,” she added.
She also noted that “SoJo is instrumental in addressing the growing trends of news avoidance, it has changed the norms from reporting problems.”
Ruona Meyer, Africa Initiative Manager, Solutions Journalism Network, acknowledged the impacts that the NHW team have made by spreading the practice of Solutions Journalism across Nigeria.
Meyer also commended the journalists whose stories have been used to drive policy development, and to train other journalists in different countries of the world.
Chibuike Alagboso, the Senior Program Manager, NHW, explained that despite numerous social problems that exist, there are things that are working and worth reporting.
Alagboso urged journalists to begin to invest the same energy they use to report about problems to find solutions, and report them.
He said, “Solutions Journalism is vested in encouraging journalists to expend more energy pushing solutions rather than dwelling on problems.”
He explained that the project has expanded the practice of Solutions Journalism to “30 media organizations, and 90 journalists across three newsroom cohorts, with over 250 solutions-focused stories published.”
The close-out event also witnessed the distribution of awards and certificates to participating newsrooms.