Nine Senior Journalists Quit BBC Hausa to Embrace Solutions Journalism

No fewer than nine senior journalists with the Hausa version of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have resigned from their positions to take new roles as African correspondents at Turkish Radio and Television (TRT), a news outlet that specialises in telling positive stories about Africa.

Their mass resignation, according to Daily Trust, is the highest in the history of the British media outfit as the affected staff members comprised two senior digital journalists, three social media journalists — two of whom are senior reporters — a senior bilingual reporter for Hausa/English Africa, a multimedia reporter, and two video journalists.

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The journalists’ resignations followed a sequence started in December last year with five of them and another four who resigned on Monday to join the Turkish Radio and Television, TRT, in Istanbul.

“This is unprecedented in the history of BBC Hausa. Nine journalists of BBC Hausa have joined the soon-to-be-launched TRT Hausa after the Turkish government decided to establish TRT Africa: Hausa, Swahili, French, and English for Africa,” Daily quoted a discrete source.

According to the source, senior digital journalist Nasidi Adamu Yahaya, would head the Hausa service at TRT, with other senior journalists, Halima Umar Saleh and Ishaq Khalid, as his deputies.

One of the affected journalists who craved anonymity said they left the BBC Hausa Services because the medium do is not reporting positive issues concerning Africa. He added that they were primarily motivated by the Turkish media’s resolve to tell positive stories in Africa.

“TRT wants us to change the narrative of storytelling. Other international media organizations have been reporting mainly on hunger, wars, and other negative narratives about Africa,” he said. “There are good, positive stories in Africa – business and employment opportunities. There are cultural values, sports, innovations; people that are involved in artificial intelligence-related work. These are what TRT Hausa Service will be covering. Many international media are not reporting these things.”

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He added: “We’re not saying we’re not going to report Boko Haram, banditry, and others, but we have other positive stories. There are human-angle stories on Boko Haram. We want to give Africans voices. People should be heard about their positive stories; not just negative stories always.”

According to him their resignations were “unprecedented,” and that “the last set of journalists tendered their resignation letters on Monday.”

“Some of them are leaving today (last Monday) while others will leave in a few days’ time,” the source revealed. “Five of us left in December. In Nigeria, BBC Hausa has more than 40 journalists, but now, about one-third of us are leaving. It has never happened in BBC Hausa Service.”


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