Civic Media Lab Partners WikkiTimes, Trains 30 Journalists in Bauchi

Civic Media Lab has in collaboration with WikkiTimes trained 30 journalists in Bauchi on accountability and data-driven journalism.

The one-day training drew participants from WikkiTimes’ workforce and five other media organizations and the Bauchi State Ministry of Information.

Mr Chikezie Omeje, the facilitator of the training, said that accountability journalism is critical to the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria, especially media neglected communities at the grassroots level.

“We can’t make progress in our society if journalists are not alert to their responsibility and we are constitutionally charged to hold the leaders accountable by publishing stories that they don’t want the public to see or read.

“Most of the media houses are concentrated in Lagos and Abuja and that has made us focus so much on the federal government and then overlooking states and the local level, but if we must develop as a country, we must know what is happening at the grassroots level is equally important.

This is why this project is very important to fight news desert and increase the quality and quantity of investigative stories produced by local newsrooms,” he said.

Mr Chikezie, who is an international award-winning journalist, commended WikkiTimes on the quality of its impact-laden accountability stories, saying that the medium can compete favourably with any Nigerian news platform.

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He urged the staff and management of WikkiTimes to keep on doing the good job for which they are known for.   

Comrade Umar Sai’du, Bauchi State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, commended the organisers of the training particularly WikkiTimes for extending the tentacles of its benevolence to other members of the NUJ, pledging continuous support of the council for similar initiatives in the future.

The NUJ Chairman who was represented by Umar Mohammed Shira said that the training came at the right time when journalists ought to work hard to fix the many unfixed issues in Nigeria.

Haruna Mohammed Salisu, Publisher of WikkiTimes, said that a lot of social decay at local levels with dire implications needs serious and deliberate effort from the media to help address them.

“If we have insecurity in Gamawa for example which is 250KM away from Bauchi, the ramification of insecurity we are likely to see in Gamawa is going to affect everybody including those in Abuja which suggest that we don’t have to all concentrate at Abuja to operate as journalists after all the whole essence is to ensure that the so-called dividends of democracy are visible to every Nigerian,” he avers.


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