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African Story: Boost For Nigerian Journalists On Migration

By Ajibola Abayomi,

December 4, 2018.

A cross session of journalists at the seminar on migration in Lagos on December, 2018.

Nigerian Journalists’ perspective on migration was boosted on Tuesday at a training programme held in Lagos state.

The 3-day workshop titled Media and Migration: Training for Journalists and Journalism Educators was facilitated by four organizations namely Journalists in a Global Contest (JiGC), Eric-Brost-Institute, African Media Initiatives (ami) and Africa Positive in conjunction with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

At the seminar, the Nigerian media were urged to take leadership of communication on the continent by reflecting views of other African countries, being the voice of the most populated black nation in the word.

Trainers at the workshop Veye Tatal from JiGC,  Eric Chinve, Senior Adviser African Media Initiative, Dr Michael Serworynoo from Ghana, former Academic Director, Department of Computer Science Technical University of Dortmund, Mr Hans Decker and Dr Etienne Fopa Sime from Cameroon advocated re-dedication to pan African stories.

The trainers urged the Journalists drawn from different media outfits to reshape issues of development on the continent by disabusing the minds of Africans from risking their lives through dangerous routes to Europe under the guise of seeking greener pasture.

“Nigeria has the capacity to harness Africa potentials for greatness. I am saying you people can do it, so lead and let others follow. The courage to tell Africa story can start from one determined journalist here and then one or two persons can follow, and they will become unstoppable on any focus that can drive development.

“Time has come for Africans to realise that there is need to tell Africa’s stories from the continent’s perspective because a lot people have been made to believe that living in Europe and other continents is the shortest route out of poverty, unfortunately this is not true.

“As Journalists, we must be concerned about reporting those things that will make Africa livable for our people. A lot of stories on potentials of Africa are under reported. Foreign media cannot do that for us because they prefer to portray us in negative light.

“Migration is a topical discuss today across the globe and we must do all we can to encourage our people to invest and live happily in Africa” said Eric.

From left: Former Academic Director, Department of Computer Science, Technical University of Dortmund, Mr Hans Decker; Dr Etienne Fopa Sime from Cameroon; Eric Chinve, Senior Adviser African Media Initiative; Veye Tatal from JiGC; Chairman Lagos NUJ, Dr Qasim Akinreti and Dr Michael Serworynoo from Ghana during the seminar

Serworynoo counseled Journalists to refrain from using gory pictures and derogative languages to portray migrants and Africa.

“We must first realise who we are as a people. Irrespective of what we do as Journalists, we must be cautious about the way we report others particularly the migrants.

“Government and leaders in Africa starting from Nigeria must be engaged on development model that is beneficiary to our people by encouraging them to add value to our resources.

“Rushing to live in abroad is not the solution. Facts about migration need to be put on table so that our people will not continue to jump at travelling to Europe out of ignorance” he said.

Both Veye and Dr Sime also advised the participants to form media network  to promote African initiatives towards sustaining economic growth and stability.

Papers presented at the event were Media and Migration: Introduction, Media and Migration: Context factors, Media and Migration: How African newsroom deal with the story, Ethics of migration reporting, Media and Migration: Best Practices and Journalistic strategies.

Chairman of Lagos State Council of NUJ, Dr Qasim Akinreti thanked the facilitators and promised future collaboration with the facilitators for journalists.

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