No fewer than 125 correspondents and reporters across the South West zone would be trained on digital journalism by the Skye Bank Plc.
The bank’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa, disclosed this at the flag-off of the training exercise in Abeokuta with the theme: “Digital journalism in 21st Century.”
Bolarinwa said the need to improve the capacity of journalists and fill the gap created by the increasing patronage of online journalism in the country informed the training.
He stated that lots of applications and tools exist in the digital space to enhance and enrich the work of Nigerian journalists, urging them to key into it.
According to him, the South West would be used as a pilot for the training before the bank replicates it in other parts of the country.
Bolarinwa said, “We realised that when you train journalists, you build their capacity. Journalists have the tendency to impact society positively and we felt the best way
we could assist in getting that out – because it falls under our corporate social responsibility plank under education – is to organise this training for those who operate in the Fourth Estate of the Realm.
“We are in the 21st Century; almost everything has gone digital and we believe there is a gap in that area for practising journalists of today and we needed to fill that gap. So, we looked round and felt we could get an enhanced and enriched curriculum that could address that area because there is a whole lot of apps in the digital space that can assist and enhance the job of an average journalist.”
He said the training would have been concluded in five South West states by next week, adding that the ultimate aim of his bank is to inspire confidence in Nigerian journalists and be in tune with global trends.
In his remarks, a veteran journalist and facilitator at the training, Mr. Taiwo Obe, said media consumption habits have changed in the country because of evolving technologies.
He disclosed that based on the statistics by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the number of active users of the Internet in Nigeria had increased to 83 million.
Obe said the proliferation of online reporting should not be a threat to both print and broadcast journalists, saying practising journalists should rather leverage on the opportunities that abound on the Internet to neutralise the threat.
He said, “What we have been trying to do is to more or less sensitize journalists that they have to move from being what we call traditional journalism to multimedia journalism whereby they can tell stories using tools and applications most of which are free online to be able to enhance the experience of our audiences.
“Our audiences have moved to mobile phones particularly and we need to be able to reach them using info graphics, video and audio to tell our stories. Story telling has changed and we (journalists) have not changed. The whole idea is that we must change how we tell our stories so that we can enrich the experience of our audiences.”