“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
These words of Alvin Toffer was the opening statement of the Lagos edition of the Journalism Clinic 2018 by the Founder/Director of The Journalism Clinic, Taiwo Obe, who added that readers no longer get their news the next day via delivery lorries and newsstands but they have Iphone and Facebook that buzz as soon as event happens.
This is the era when journalism has evolved beyond the realm of merely passing information, as most people already have the information the media wants to pass as soon as it breaks through the social media. Indeed, this is the realm of information sharing; and for the media to stay ahead, there is a need to pay attention to content.
Good content wins the audience; the best way to actually engage with audiences now is to provide high quality content. Therefore, a journalist must evolve with the trend by ensuring that he provides rich content and employ the use of multimedia adequately.
And in order to help journalists stay ahead of the trends and restrategise on how to present rich contents, a Lagos-based organisation, The Journalism Clinic in collaboration with Fidelity Bank, selected 100 journalists to be trained on issues bordering on working on their content in the 2018 edition of the journalism clinic.
The workshop tagged ‘Rethinking Content’ was scheduled for three locations, Enugu, Lagos and Abuja. The Enugu workshop held penultimate Saturday; the Lagos edition held last Saturday and the Abuja edition holds tomorrow.
The workshop in addition to re-orientating journalists on how to boost their contents by rethinking it in a way that will add value also dealt with the use of social media and multimedia applications that could aid journalism practice in order to equip journalists with necessary skills to excel in the digital world.
Diverse ways of rethinking content and integrating social media in mainstream journalism so that it will add value to people and they will be encouraged to pay for contents were part of the curriculum.
The training was basically focused on boosting the professional capacity of Nigerian journalists to maximise the use of social media for news gathering, building online communities, giving audiences valuable information and investigations. Participants were taught to seek information that the people are willing to buy and never to erect barriers in their paths.
According to Taiwo Obe, the purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, and a media practitioner must be willing to be an authority in his field, be willing to learn and bridge the knowledge gap.
He explained that the starter pack for any journalist is his brain, adding that he must have a different mindset and be open to learning. He stated that forgetting is forbidden in the content world as every piece of information is the source of content at particular periods and journalists needs long memory as a matter of importance.
Resource persons at the training, aside Obe, are Funke Treasure Durodola, who took the lecture on podcasting, and Pelu Awofeso, an award-winning travel journalist.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the training, Charles Aigbe, the Divisional Head, Brand and Communications in Fidelity Bank, stated that the bank is passionate about training and is committed to making a difference, adding that the bank would not relent in its efforts at adding value to the society.
At the end of the training, Obe stated that people have questions and journalists are expected to give answers, adding that what a journalist sells are intelligence, knowledge and insight.