SOCIAL MEDIA TRAINING FOR JOURNALISTS
Shehu Usam Salihu
In continuation of its capacity building on social media tools, CITAD in partnership with SAVI Jigawa State Office conducted a two-training on social media for journalists in Jigawa State. The training which held on 29th and 30th July at the Manpower Development Centre, Dutse was attended by 20 journalists from different media organizations in the state. Welcoming participants to the training on the first day, the SAVI STL, Mal Jibrin Ali Giginyu said that they have partnered with CITAD for the training because of the increasing importance of social media in journalism profession. He said that we have reached an era where media employers demand for multimedia skills from prospective employees and therefore advised the participants to take the training seriously and make the best of it. He thanked CITAD for extending the gesture to SAVI Jigawa and for the continued partnership between the two organizations.
In his introductory remark, Mal Haruna Adamu, the Programme Officer of SAVI disclosed that the programme was part of CITAD capacity building training for civil society organizations and decided to extend to journalists in Jigawa State and participants were therefore carefully selected based on their seriousness and hope that they would make effective use of the new skills they would acquire during the two-day training.
The workshop started with participants stating their expectations for the workshop during which most of them expressed desire to learn more about social media and how they could use it for their professional duties as journalists. This was followed by baseline survey on the use of social media among the participants. It was found that many of the participants have facebook accounts, a few have twitter handles while none had YouTube account. Participants also were not aware of other social media tools while with respect to use, many said they were only using facebook to share information with friends but not for professional use.
The first presentation for the day was Understanding Social Media by Y. Z. Ya’u in which he explained what social media was and the various dimensions and tools embedded in it. He also gave some statistics on the use of some the social media tools in the country and concluded by looking at some of reasons for the low use of these tools in the country. The second presentation was by Kabiru Saidu Dakata on the three big ones: FF, Twitter and YouTube. He took each one and explained its origin, its uses and how it could be used. After the lunch/prayer break, a third presentation on Uses of Social Media for Journalism by Y. Z. Ya’u was taken. He dwelled on why social media was important for journalists and discussed the various uses of social media in journalism. He concluded by point that there were a number key challenges that hinder the effective use of social media for journalism. Therefore, participants were asked to identify key challenges they see in terms of ensuring quality news in the context of social media
Among the key challenges identified were rumours, hate speech, lack of editorial control, information overlord, social media addition, among many others. Participants were them tasked to think about solution to these challenges.
The second day began with an overview of the first day. This was done in a participatory way with participants sharing their own recollection. Thereafter, the participants broke into three groups to discuss and propose solutions to the challenges identified the previous day. Groups took turn to make their presentations. Among the key solutions proposed were that journalists should ensure that they make effort to authenticate news they find in social media, do not rely on just one social media, complementing social media with traditional forms of news authentication, make cultivate credible sources, and editorial oversight mechanisms.
There next three sessions were devoted to hands-on practice on facebook, twitter and YouTube facilitated Mal Shehu Usman Salihu. In each session, participants were taken through on how to open an account, add or invite friends, how to post messages, managing their accounts, deleting posts, placing picture, video conferencing and permanent deletion accounts, etc.
The last session on how on Building up Friends and Followers followed by a brief discussion on Evaluating Your Social Media Campaign. Both were taken by Y. Z. Ya’u. The workshop was brought to a close by closing remarks on behalf of SAVI by Haruna Adamu who thanked both the participants and facilitators. The NUJ Chairmen offered the vote of thanked and thanked CITAD for the facilitation and expressed their gratitude to both CITAD and SAVI for giving their members opportunity to update their skills and enhance their profession. He also appeal to CITAD to organize a follow up workshop to this so other members of the union could have the opportunity to update their skills.