Social media is the new media baby. I incorporate social media a lot in my journalism work, and I continually seek to learn how to make the best of it, and perfect my social media skills. I’ve been counting down to my Social Media training with Jennifer Dorroh, Digital Journalist and Media Trainer. She developed a blog about global media innovation for the Knight International Journalism Fellowships at the International Center for Journalists, and is behind the Ijnet site. I am an ardent visitor to the Ijnet site, and my success in the environmental journalism field was founded on my winning the Climate Change Media Fellowship. Ijnet made that happen. I found the opportunity on the site, applied and I won. Good news gets sweeter when you get to meet the people who make good things happen. I just couldn’t wait for my two hour training with Jennifer. Nigeria has embraced new media, and everyone, especially those in the service of the nation, is being closely watched, and their actions/inactions made public. Social media has given a voice to most Nigerians, and the tool can be used to get the environmental message across. Using social media effectively as a tool for communication was therefore at the top on my list. Jennifer taught me a lot about new media applications and how to make the most out of the platforms I already use . She's a fun lady. I found her story about her son’s reaction when she used the adage “you use one stone to kill two birds’’ very hilarious. Her son, apparently in love with nature, said “mom, that’s so cruel’’. If I don't teach my child love for nature, in a country where less attention is given to environmental awareness, who will? We said bye bye, but Jennifer and I would stay in touch, and continue this education using technology.
Social Media Training with Jennifer Dorroh
Voice of Americaaaaaa yeahhhhhhh!!! I was happy to hear I would be spending some days with the Voice of America (VOA), but not quite happy with how short it was going to last. After going through stringent security checks, we were welcomed by Mariama Diallo. Mariama works for the English to Africa arm of VOA. We were taken on a tour of the VOA building. From the past to the present, photos and words told the story of a media organisation with the vision to broadcast only the truth. VOA broadcasts to about 94 million people worldwide, in more than 50 languages via radio, satellite TV and the internet. I got a chance to see the VOA multimedia studio. Very impressive, I must say. Next we met Sonya Lawrence – the Green, Beautiful and Charismatic head of the VOA English to Africa service. It was such a warm welcome from the team consisting of Ashenafi Abedje and Usman Farag. I was attached to understudy Ashenafi and Usman on radio programmes and news production, and also to watch Peter Clottey make online versions for the VOA website. Ashenafi was originally from Ethopia, Usman is Egyptian, and Peter is from Ghana. I shall visit the Hausa service to say "Inakawana" to my Nigerian folks. Today ended with me sitting in to watch the live broadcast of VOA's flagship programme, Straight Talk Africa. Packaging this show takes lots of work, and everyone who is part of the show was on top of their game. Today's edition focused on the plights of the disabled in Africa. Disabled people are also vulnerable to climate change. I hope this show would push governments in Africa and Nigeria more precisely, to mainstream the concerns of this group of people in national policies, there by helping them live a normal life and see an ability in their disability. Tomorrow, I hope to sit in to see how VOA radio news and programes are packaged from scratch, and broadcast.
Behind the scenes at Voice of America