Carve a Niche Yourself to Remain Relevant in Journalism – ActionAid Nigeria

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By Sam Egwu, Lokoja.

Media professionals have been charged to advance their career by developing personal brands that will position them as relevant authorities in the media industry.

Consultant, Women in Media, Mrs Omolola Oladimeji gave the charge Tuesday at a two-day Media Master Class on preventing violent extremism (PVC) in Kogi and Nasarawa states held at Kini Country Home, Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

The training on the theme: ‘Passing The Baton; Co-Creating Sustainable Peace Through Journalism’ was organised by ActionAid Nigeria, alongside her partners in Nasarawa and Kogi State, under the System Structure and Strengthening Approach Against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) with funding support from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).

Mrs Oladimeji, who spoke on the topic; Improving your Personal Brand as a Journalist in a COVID-I9 Era, said media professionals can stay on top of their game when they take deliberate and conscious efforts in creating platforms such as personal websites and news blogs.

“Build your social media presence, network and build relationships. But avoid fake news, unsubstantiated content and source.

“Avoid plagiarism, social media war and be consistent, credible and active in your community. Also, you need to master your multi-media knowledge and be consistent in building your capacity to enable you sell yourself,” she said.

In another presentation, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Malam Murtala Mohammed who spoke on the topic: “Understanding SDG 16 as a Media Practitioner,” said the media, especially social media have great potential to harnessing dialogue as a process of peace building effort.

“In Nigeria, Twitter has become, among the political and corporate elite, a rallying point for provoking discourse and politics on social media, encourage wide interaction and engagement on issues of peace, justices and good governance,” he said.

Mallam Mohammed called on journalists to avoid sensationalism that is capable of fueling crisis between the different ethnic and religious groups in the country.

He also appealed to journalists to be objective in their reportage, in order to achieve the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 16 which is geared towards promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.

Earlier, in a welcome address, Director Organisational Effectiveness, ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Funmilayo Oyefusi, said ActionAid has successfully trained over 100 journalists on conflict sensitive reportage towards peace building in communities in Nasarawa and Kogi States.

She therefore, called on journalists to make good use of the knowledge gained during the training, in order to write stories that will impact on the society as well as prevent violent extremism.

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