EU Trains 30 Budding Journalists from Tertiary Institutions


The youth advisory body of the European Union in Nigeria has trained no fewer than 30 budding journalists from tertiary institutions across the six geopolitical zones of the country as part of events to mark the World Press Freedom Day 2024.

The Spokesperson of the EU Sounding Board Nigeria, Rafiat Atanda, while speaking on this year's theme: “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the face of the Environmental Crisis'', stated that the climate crisis being experienced globally required an urgent and multi-faceted approach to protect the people and the planet.

She said: “Journalists play a pivotal role in reshaping perceptions and by empowering them early enough, we can recreate a world where journalists tell the truth and not the noise - while shift from sensationalizing the climate crisis to reporting with facts, compassion and science, and in a way that supports freedom for all.”

The workshop, which was facilitated by experienced journalists, including Ibrahim Adeyemi, Deputy Investigations Editor at HumAngle, and Abdulkareem Mojeed, Business and Environment Reporter at Premium Times, trained student-journalists on ticking essential boxes for good investigative reporting and ethical practices in climate reporting.

Declaring the training open, Ruben Alba-Aguilera, the Head of Democracy, Governance and Human Rights at the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, described free and independent media as critical for upholding democracy and people’s right to access quality, fact-based information. Observing that “as many as 85 per cent of people live in countries where media freedom has worsened in the past five years, he said freedom of expression remained the worst affected indicator of deteriorating democracy in 35 countries in 2023, while improving in only eleven.”

Alba-Aguilera said: “Journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession. In 2023, 99 journalists and media workers were killed worldwide in 2023 – the highest death toll since 2015. Also, as many as 320 journalists around the world are estimated to be in prison for their work.”

He explained that the EU funds a variety of projects worldwide to support independent media, counter disinformation, create a more enabling environment for media freedom and pluralism. In Nigeria, according to him, the EU provides funding for “Avocats San Frontieres (Lawyers Without Borders) to implement the e-RIGHTS project aimed at “protecting the Digital Rights of Nigerians and support activists who are targeted as a result of digital publications.”

Commending the EU Youth Sounding Board in Nigeria for the initiative, some of the participants, including Adam Mosadioluwa (University of Ilorin), Imran Ridwan (University of Maiduguri), Derby Divine Ephraim (University of Uyo) and Hussein Wahab (Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto), lauded both facilitators and the organisers for the workshop, describing it as “timely and impactful”.

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