J-Hub: Tools & Trends in Online-Journalism
Workshop with Professional Journalists from across Nigeria
Goethe-Institut Nigeria, 10-15 June 2011
The availability of low-cost internet-capable devices and decreasing cost of broadband access are changing – and challenging – news industries across the world. As these developments give rise to new formats such as citizen journalism and real-time reportage, the Lagos based NGO Communicating for Change and Goethe-Institut Nigeria initiated a workshop “J-Hub: Tools & Trends in Online Journalism”.
Developed by Communication for Change (Nigeria), New Media Lab (South Africa), Pixelchiefs (Germany) and XMLab (Germany), the workshop agenda covered a broad array of online tools and technologies. To best address the diversity of backgrounds, workshop facilitators combined overview presentations with small group exercises and one-on-one consulting on individual online publishing strategies.
The workshop was attended by 22 professional journalists from across Nigeria (Owerri, Abuja, Lagos, Jos, Ibadan, Kaduna, Jola, Uyo, Lokoja, Awka) chosen by their news organizations to become users and advocates of online journalism technologies.
The broadband connection provided by the Goethe-Institut allowed all participants online access during the workshop. A large number of participants used their own laptops; others were able to work with mobile devices provided by workshop partner Samsung Mobile.
Over a course of five days, individual workshop modules addressed key areas of online journalism such as computer-assisted research and reportage, use of social media and multimedia publishing tools, strategies of online writing, online security, copyright, and the ethics of online publishing.
Particular attention was paid to the dynamic legal and policy environment in Nigeria as it relates to journalism, especially the new Freedom of Information Law and the development of a Nigerian version of the popular Creative Commons license. The workshop also collaborated with Dr. Aluma of the Department of Mass Communication of University of Lagos.
“This workshop was an empowering collaboration between local and international experts,” said Sandra Obiago, CFC’s founder. “It is vital that our media organizations invest in online-tools to deepen and diversify their reporting and dissemination to a growing local and international audience.”
J-Hub includes a workshop series and the creation of an online repository of open educational resources. Plans include the set-up of a physical space for face-to-face exchange, encounter, and experimentation for people interested in digital media in general and journalism in particular.
The vibrant arts and technology scene in Lagos provides a great opportunity to link J-Hub with other hub-initiatives; the next J-Hub event will be a workshop for journalism educators early 2012.
Marc-André Schmachtel, Director of Goethe-Institut Nigeria: “For Goethe-Institut Nigeria this is an excellent opportunity to express our will to develop together with local and international partners the media and information sector in Nigeria and to provide a space for new expressions.”
Feedback from Course participants:
Zainab Babji, News Reporter, Plateau Radio and TV Corporation Jos
“I’ve gotten so much out of this course, especially the use of internet and social media and blogging. I plan to keep practicing and also training my colleagues in the newsroom.”
Tolulope Adeleru, Newsanchor NN24 TV
“I now understand the importance of using Twitter and blogging in disseminating breaking news. I’m also more aware of the challenges and responsibilities that go along with utilizing online-tools.”
Lawal Sherif, News Editor, Cool FM
“This workshop gave me a new understanding of the importance of social media networks as tools for interacting with my audience. Also learning about the good and bad sides of social media and the importance of always double checking the information before posting.”
Contacts and information: