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Daily Trust Foundation Harps on Capacity building for Journalist

By BILKISU ABDULLAHI-YAHUZA

Participants at the ongoing three days training on Multi-Media Reporting organized by Daily Trust Foundation in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation have been urged to step up Professionalism.

A member of the board of Daily Trust Foundation, Chief Ishaq Ajibola, stated this at the ongoing Multimedia and Investigative Journalism Training For Journalist in the North-Central Religion, Holding at Reverton Hotel, Lokoja, Kogi State on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

“On behalf of board members of the Daily Trust Foundation, I heartily and warmly welcome you to Lokoja, the city where the future Nigeria was incubated by Lord Lugard.”

“This is an ancient town, but it is very significant in the geographical and political history of this country. First, it is the bowel of the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue. Secondly, it is encompassed around by undulating beauty of rich and grassy mountains. Thirdly, this state is bordered by nine states — Benue, Kwara, FCT, Niger, Edo, Ekiti, Anambra, Enugu, Nasarawa.”

Chief Ajibola Said Daily Trust Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust titles — print, digital, and now Trust TV.

He noted that the history may sound recent, but the concept is inherent in this organization since Media Trust Limited was established in 1996. Beginning with scholarships for female medical students and humanitarian supports for diverse needy groups, the Foundation’s philosophy has revolved around assisting the young ones to achieve their dreams and goals in life.

Chief Ajibola explained that Media Trust Limited has attached much capital to capacity building of, not only journalists, but also those in operations and top management of the company.

He said that the newspaper is on record to be the first that would fly its middle level and management staff to exotic places like Obudu Cattle Ranch and other serene locations in Benin Republic and Ghana, to reflect on their jobs, strategize and reinvigorate their efforts in delivering good news content to our readers.

“Many of those exposed to diverse training and re-training programmes are no longer with Media Trust Limited, but they left as better persons than they were when they joined the company. This training in Lokoja is in line with this culture that has grown in leap and bounds with the prosperity of Media Trust Limited.

“The training in multimedia/investigative reporting is very relevant to the media profession, and the idea is an offshoot of the global trend in journalism. It is about the convergence of the media, where broadcast, radio, and print meet on the various platforms enabled by The Internet. About two decades ago, multimedia reporting was unthinkable, as print journalists took pride in being great news reporters or features writers.

“Broadcast journalists were satisfied with being eloquent and classy newscasters; while radio broadcasters thought they reached the climax of their chosen path by reporting with melodious voices from their beats. Today, anyone who harbours such thinking is in delusion, as the Internet has broken down the walls journalists over the years, built around media platforms. Most significantly, in this age of information overload, called infodemic, the written text may be seen as a waste of time and attention.

Consumers of news are enchanted by video production, and they want it on the mobile phones, as conveniently as the Internet could make it. As creators of news content, we cannot remain in the past; we must migrate to platforms where news consumers inhabit.

“This is why you are here. We must acknowledge the role of MacArthur Foundation in making this training possible. The organization provided the funding for this training, and the only way we can ensure that the investment is not wasted is by paying attention to the facilitators, and putting into practice what you shall learn in these three days.

“You are deepening your knowledge and digital skills at a time when the media is experiencing so much trust deficit that every news item on the social media is approached with doubt and suspicion. Before this dispensation, whatever was published by the media was considered as veritable and verifiable truth that the consumer of news could take to the bank.

“Today, as a result of what we call ‘citizen journalism’ and digital platforms’ craze for ‘click-bait,’ the idea of ‘fake news,’ promoted by the authorities, has defaced the journalism profession.

“I challenge you to use the skills you will acquire in the next three days to reverse this perception. You can do so if you deliberately and responsibly use the skills to distinguish your media, whether legacy or emerging, in a manner that whatever is published on your platform is reliable and credible.

“This is one way of justifying the Foundation’s investment in this training activity.

“Lokoja is an interesting place. So, as you learn, you should also explore the city so that you have a memorable story to tell about the confluence state. Thank you and God bless, “he added.