Communiqué of one-day capacity building workshop and engagement on solution driven rural poverty reporting organized by the International Press Centre (IPC) and WACC for select journalists from print media organizations in Lagos on Tuesday September 8, 2015.
Based on the need to improve on the agenda setting role of the media in the quest to reduce poverty through informed reports and commentaries, the International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos organized a one-day capacity building workshop and engagement on solution driven rural poverty reporting for journalists in Lagos. The workshop was organized under a project titled: “Mentoring and CSO/media engagement for solution-driven rural poverty reporting” being implemented with the support of the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC).
The workshop focused on equipping the select journalists with specific skills to conduct investigations and carry out in-depth reporting of diverse poverty issues and challenges faced by people living in select rural communities in Lagos. This is in continuation of the WACC/IPC 2013-2014 media intervention programme on rural poverty reporting.
The workshop had 10 participants from 6 national newspapers and was facilitated by Dr. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika; Associate Professor and Head of Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos and Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Director, IPC.
The workshop had two interactive and practical sessions which provided professional guide to participants on the essence of development journalism and poverty reporting.
The workshop started with a mind gauging session during which participants shared views on anticipated outcomes of the workshop. This was followed by an explanation of the background and the reasons for the focus on reporting the poverty conditions of communities in Lagos.
The presentation by the resources person were: “Reporting poverty and development; the media as agenda setters and agents to engender grass root development” by -Dr Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika; and “reporting rural poverty issues: Skills & methodologies for conducting investigations and in-depth reports on rural poverty conditions” by Mr. Lanre Arogundade.
The session also had a practical session on “Following the Poverty Issue: Using 5Ws and 1H as guide” as well as “Stakeholders’ analysis of poverty issues” by Mr. Arogunade. The workshop also addressed related issues on identifying poverty conditions of communities in Lagos: the causes and the effects, the limitations to the rreporting of poverty conditions of the communities and steps towards overcoming the limitations.
Participants noted and agreed that:
• Poverty goes beyond mere measurement of a household’s expenditure or welfare but has many dimensions and may include inadequate access to government utilities and services, environmental issues, poor infrastructure, illiteracy and ignorance, poor health, insecurity, social and political exclusion.
• News reporting should routinely give special attention to and examine the issue of poverty and development.
• Media can engender grassroots development by reporting poverty and development as agenda setting function.
• The media through news stories and angle/frequency of reportage; can inform about glaring and growing poverty and facilitate solutions.
• The media can proactively make government more responsive to the development needs and challenges of the rural poor.
• Journalists as agents of development can apply solutions journalism in addressing the various dimensions of poverty while writing stories on rural poverty with the aim of drawing attention to alleviating it.
• Journalists investigating stories on poverty situations should employ fact finding and analytic skills like:
– Issue analysis of the poverty conditions
– Stakeholder analysis of factors and influencers to changing the situation.
– Using diverse sources.
– Telling compelling stories especially by using oral testimonies.
Following the presentations and discussions, the participants resolved to:
· Follow up on the issues by attending an interactive meeting with representatives of select rural communities in Lagos in order to obtain first hand information on the poverty concerns of the communities.
· Undertake field visits to select communities to do investigative/development reporting of their issues.
· Write solution-driven report on major development poverty issues of rural communities of Lagos.
· Interact with Local CSO and/or Local/State-level institutional stakeholders and writing a solution driven report on the rural poverty/development issues/needs of the community.
· Be an agent of change in allevaiting poverty conditions of communities in Lagos State.
At the end of the workshop, participants expressed gratitude to the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) for supporting IPC to organize the workshop and other related components of the project.
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