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African fellow trains journalists, academics on Solutions Journalism

 

By Bushrah Yusuf-Badmus

An African 2022 Fellow of Solutions Journalism, Mr Usman Aliyu, on Wednesday trained journalists and academics on solutions journalism.

Aliyu, who is a Correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the idea was borne out of efforts of mainstreaming solution journalism into our practice as journalists and teaching journalism education in our tertiary institutions.

He said solutions journalism was a paradigm shift that encourages social change.

”In the past, it has always been problem identification, and calling for solutions to it, and we have achieved little or nothing with it.

”But the concept of solution journalism is reporting what is working; it is simply working response to social issues.

”When there is an intervention in an area, you have to study such intervention, and when you see it working, you report it for others to take a cue from it,” Aliyu said.

A lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, Dr Razaq Adisa, said with the new angle of solving problems that solution journalism proffers, it should be included in the mass communication curriculum.

”We have so many related courses like investigative journalism, data journalism, precision journalism which all bring out problems.

”But, with solution journalism bringing a new angle to solving problems, it is a welcome development into the curriculum; but how to go about it is what we will deliberate on.

”Before it is introduced fully, we can imbed it into some of the courses we teach now.

”Even news writing and reporting that we teach, we can include not to stop identifying problems as journalists, but also telling people how such problems are solved.

”Lecturers have the power to update their own curriculum before the school curriculum is updated because we should go by the trend to improve learning for the students,” Adisa said.

Mr Wale Mustapha, from the Public Relations Unit of the Kogi State Polytechnic, said solutions journalism is what they have been doing, but unconsciously.

”It is part of what we have been doing before, but now it will give us additional exposure to what we still need to do in terms of solutions journalism.

”Most of the things we do in the Public Relations Unit of Kogi State Polytechnic is not just identifying the problems, but letting people know the solutions proffered to them.

”For example, we used to have serious security challenges in the school, but the present Rector, Salisu Usman, has digitalised security now which has reduced crime rates and exposes criminals on the campus.

”Although most people see us as protesting the image of the school in a negative light, it has helped us weed out the criminals among the students.

“So, with what I have learned here, we will still do things better than we have been doing,” Mustapha said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Abiodun Esan/Muhammad Suleiman Tola