Social Media Influencers, Journalists Lauds NITDA for Digital Journalism Workshop in Kebbi

TECHDIGEST – Social media influencers and Journalists in Kebbi State have applauded the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for its continued efforts in ensuring that Journalists across the country are equipped with Digital Skills to hone their practice.

The newsmen disclosed this at a Capacity Building Workshop on Digital Journalism and Fact-checking, organized by NITDA in collaboration with PRNigeria, Penlight Centre.

The programme which is also facilitated by Khadimiya Foundation for Justice Initiative and  Brilux Media Consult held at Saffar Guest-inn Conference Hall, Birnin Kebbi.

The Journalists who admitted that the non-professionals mishandling and misuse of Social Media online outlets poses a great challenge to Mainstream Media operations and real practices of Journalism in the present Digital era, noted that training like this will go a long way in building the capacity of journalists and restoring the integrity of the profession.

“I believe everybody that attended the workshop must have gone back home much more than the way they came in. We have been equipped with great knowledge of modern day Journalism and we were also able to meet young resource persons who did tremendously well,” Aliyu Muhammad Hamagan, a Veteran Journalist and Kebbi State Correspondent of Daily Trust Newspaper said.

Appealing to NITDA to make such training a continuous process, Hamagan said, “such knowledge is not what one gathers in a day, but if it’s recurrent we will gather a lot and that will make us better personalities in our chosen profession.”

On her part, Maryam Attoh Muhammad, Reporter from Kebbi Television (KBTV), expressed delight and gratitude for the opportunity noting that she has learnt various news verification skills at the workshop while Murtala Adamu Diri, another reporter with KBTV noted that the workshop is very important particularly in the light of the fact that social media comes with a lot of unverifiable news and verification remains key for information integrity.

Declaring the Workshop open, the Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations at NITDA, Hajia Hadiza Umar represented by the Project Manager Penlight Centre, Dahiru M Lawal said the capacity building workshop is one of the core mandates and objectives of the Agency and it was aimed at equipping Journalists with knowledge and skills of Digital Journalism practice in the Digital era.

Mr Muhammad Dahiru Lawal, Project Manger of Penlights Center and Author, 101 Fake news On EndSars
Mr Muhammad Dahiru Lawal, Project Manger of Penlights Center and Author, 101 Fake news On EndSars

Mrs Hadiza further revealed that the main essence of the training workshop for the Journalists and Social Media influencers was to educate them on the techniques of Digital Journalism practice and non-professional practices that occupied the Social Media space such as false information and fake News, where she called on the professional Journalists to take active measures towards addressing the issues militating against real practice of Journalism.

Presenting a Paper titled; Fake News; “Online Journalism and the Dilemma of Race against time” Dr. Mansur Buhari from the Department of Modern European Languages Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto, highlighted some non-professional practices currently occupying the space of Social Media such as fake News and false information and how they affect the accuracy and validity of information shared on the New Media.

Also in his presentation, the Editor-in-chief, PRNigeria, Malam Yushau Shuaib educated participants on the techniques of Digital Journalism, Social media practices and management of crises in communication.

The PR specialist used the Medium to emphasize the need for Journalists to acquire knowledge and skills on New-media technologies as tools for effective and efficient practice of Digital Journalism, and charged them to desist from all forms of false information, fake News and hate speeches that could generate tensions among the people.

In his Paper presentation, Project Manager Penlight Centre and author of 101 Fake News on EndSARS, Dahiru M Lawal, spoke on the online media fact-checking, media monitoring and search engine optimization, where he introduced Journalists and Social Media influencers to basic knowledge of facts reporting, content monitoring on Social Media and techniques of using digital tools for effective verification of information.

On his part, the Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Dr. Jibril Gwandu, expressed his goodwill and charged participants to make good use of the knowledge acquired during the training.

The workshop was well attended by various journalists and social media influencers across the state.

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