Hajia Rafat Salami, Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapel has urged media practitioners in Nigeria to focus on solution journalism in order to reduce societal problems of the nation.
Salami, also a Chief News Editor, Voice of Nigeria (VON), gave the advice in a paper entitled “Concept of Solution Journalism“ she delivered at a training organised for media practitioners in Egbokodo-Itsekiri, Warri, Delta.
The training with the theme, “Capable Training of Regional and National Media Practitioners“, was organised by Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), a foundation funded by Chevron Nigeria Ltd.
According to her, solution journalism should be such that doe snot highlight the problems alone but also proffer solutions through news, news analysis and feature articles among others.
Salami observed that solution journalism should be rigorous to assist in nipping in the bud contending issues from generating to violence.
The secretary said that incessant reportage of negative events tended to make the audience tired of such events and make audience avoid the mainstream media interested in searching for a difference.
She reminded journalists of their responsibility in changing the narrative for the people and urged them not to relent.
Also speaking at the occasion, Ibanga Isine of Premium Times, who spoke on the ABC of Investigative Journalism, urged media practitioners to take special care when writing investigative stories.
‘’This is because investigative stories usually make someone appear either bad or stupid and the accusation can lead to legal action in form of defamation.
‘’You can probably be safe if your story is true and in the public interest, but you can lose the protection of the law if there are serious errors,’’ he warned.
Isine explained that writing stories on investigative journalism required all skills of general journalism.
He, however, noted that due to the risk in such journalism, many journalists must stick to the facts and prove them to be true.
Isine further urged journalists to avoid personal comments and vague language, keep language simple, check their work at every stage and double check when they finished their story.
He said journalists must follow-up on reactions after the story must have been published.
In her speech, Adeshola Komolafe of Media Insight, also called on journalists to remain versatile in their profession, adding that journalism could connect them to the wider world.