THE International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), says it will partner with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) toward improving the quality of journalists and journalism in Nigeria.
Dr Emman Shehu, its Director, made this known on Wednesday in Abuja when he paid a courtesy call on Malam Ali M. Ali, the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“NAN has a critical role to play in telling the story of developing nations.
“Its challenges are enormous. It needs capable manpower, technology and skills in marketing. Our institute can provide the training required to excel in all these tasks,” he said.
Shehu said that IIJ, which is affiliated to University of Maiduguri, was created to meet the training needs of journalists in Africa.
He said that social media journalism is hurting the profession, urging stakeholders to strive to ensure that only true professionals were allowed to practise.
The director said that IIJ would provide the right opportunity for practitioners seeking to improve their knowledge.
“We shall be ready to upgrade people that do not meet professional requirements.
“We shall be happy to train NAN Reporters and Editors so that the quality of the agency’s news content shall improve.
“So much is expected from NAN. The subscribers and members of the public expect so much from the agency. We shall help the agency to meet its mandate.”
Shehu listed other areas of collaboration to include the organisation of seminars and workshops to generate money.
“The partnership will also include bringing our students to undertake Internship Training in NAN,” he added.
In his response, Ali described Shehu as a mentor, who taught him a lot in journalism.
“He is a thorough professional with an eagle eye to detect any slip in a copy.
“He took us through a lot. People like Garba Shehu, media aide to former President Muhamadu Buhari, went through his tutelage to become experts on the job,” he said.
He said that NAN is worried about the quality of its manpower and the future of journalism.
“It is a worrisome situation. Facts and fiction freely mix. Social media journalism is a huge threat to journalism. So, training and technology have become very important.
“We have huge manpower. We are responsible for telling the Nigerian story to the world.
“We serve thousands of clients and subscribers. We have seen NAN high up there and have seen it going through challenges.
“We shall change its downward trend. That is why we are having you today.
“NAN has a lot of quality professionals, but we are worried about the quality of our copies.
“Journalism is generally facing challenges. Even the mainstream media is picking stories from the social media.
“News sites are being cloned. NAN suffered such fate some years ago. We are happy you are here. We shall look at the Memorandum of Understanding you are presenting,” he said.
Ali said that NAN was in dire need of super reporters who could write stories, take pictures and do videos at the same time.
“We look forward to working together to boost the quality of journalism in the country,” he said. (NAN)
November 9, 2023 @ 7:25 GMT|