The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) has trained 12 female journalists as the 2023 cohort of the Female Reporters Leadership Programme (#FRLP) fellowship kicked off with a 3-day training in Lagos.
In her welcome remarks, the Executive Director, WSCIJ, Mrs. Motunrayo Alaka shared that the 2023 FRLP fellowship focuses on strategically building the capacity of select female reporters to engage the media, its stakeholders, and society at large through impactful leadership projects and profound investigative stories on the leadership status of women in newsrooms and media organisations.
Alaka buttressed that the fellowship basically seeks to champion the leadership of women in the news, newsroom, and as expert sources.
Mrs. Stella Din-Jacob, the Director of News at Television Continental who spoke extensively on how to conduct investigative journalism, shared that participants must understand the murky world of investigative journalism as it would test them mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Din-Jacob advised the reporters to be intentional about their personal development as news organisations do not owe them any training, and to make the most out of the training opportunities they are exposed to.
On her part, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the Executive Director at the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), sheds more light on the difference between gender and sex, and how journalists need to break the rules of gender roles being assigned to individuals by the society.
Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi stressed that age, ethnicity, religion, education, language, class, and disabilities intersect with gender, and are used to differentiate women at different points in time, which proves that women are not homogeneous.
She noted that it would take a long time to correct the age-long misconceptions about gender issues, but little wins and successes should not be disregarded.
The 12 reporters that have been trained are Blessing Oladunjoye of BONews Service, Karina Igonikon of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Pidgin, Rivers, Zubaida Baba Ibrahim – HumAngle Media, Abuja, Ijeoma Okereke-Adagba – Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), Abuja, Sarah Ayeku – TVCNews, Lagos and Fortunate Ozo of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Ebonyi.
Others are Folashade Ogunrinde – TV360 Nigeria, Lagos, Bamas Victoria – International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Abuja, Yemi Olus-Galadima – Making of Champions, Lagos, and Martha Asumata Agas – News Agency of Nigeria, Plateau, Olufisoye Adenitan of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ondo and Maryam Abdullahi of The Cable Newspaper, Niger.
The trained journalists are expected to produce leadership and story projects as part of the FRLP Programme and would emerge as fellows upon the completion of their deliverables.