The executive council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists and National Association of Women Journalists, Osun State chapters have accepted to get their members trained on Solutions Journalism reportage. The executive councils of the two associations made this known during a-one day advocacy visit by Rasheed Adebiyi, a 2022 Fellow of Solutions Journalism whose project focus was to mainstream solutions journalism reportage in the media education and practice ecosystem in the state.
Earlier in his presentation, Adebiyi walked the audience through the concept of Solutions Journalism. He described it as a reportage that focuses on the responses of people to social problems. He further explained that solutions stories must have elements such as insights, evidence and limitations. In furthering the presentation, Adebiyi emphasized the benefits of telling stories of people responding to their social problems because it empowers and gives them agency to solve their problems. He then cited examples of local solutions story ideas that would have made good solution stories but have failed to gain any traction from the media as the media has looked past them. “We need to give more attention to the responses that people are actually putting on ground to address the issues and problems confronting them” he said.
In his response, the Chairman of the State NUJ, Mr. Wasiu Ajadosu, commended the effort by Dr. Adebiyi on championing the mainstreaming of Solutions Journalism in Osun State. Ajadosu attested to the fact that solutions story telling is assuming global importance in modern journalism. He therefore requested for further training of members on the concept. While supporting the NUJ chairman’s earlier proposal, the NAWOJ State Chairperson, Mrs Motunrayo Ayegbayo also proposed that a a solutions story focused training especially on issues that concern women should be organized for women journalists in the state. In his own response, the coordinator of the International Institute of Journalism, Osogbo Study Centre, Mr. Abass Okandeji said the advocacy visit was a good one.He said the concept is a strand of developmental journalism. He said the doors of the centre he coordinates is open for Solutions Journalism training.
The advocacy meeting with the executive council members of the two chapters of the journalism professional bodies is the third of the 15 advocacy visits to be embarked on by the Adebiyi as part of his fellowship deliverables for the 2022 Africa Solutions Journalism Fellowship supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, New York and implemented by the Nigeria Health Watch, Abuja.