Experts ask NUC, NBTE to review journalism curriculum


Media practitioners and journalism lecturers have called for the integration of the concept of solutions journalism into the curriculum of tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

They stressed that the new generation of journalists need to be exposed to the concept of solutions journalism as part of the various ways they could cause developmental changes in the society while also holding power to account.

They made this call at a one-day workshop with the theme ‘Integrating Solutions Journalism Into Nigerian Media Education’ organised by I-79 Media Consults under its Campus Solutions project as part of the 2022 LEDE fellowship.

The event, supported by the United States-based Solutions Journalism Network held at the Oyo State National Union of Journalists secretariat, Ibadan.

The experts and scholars also argued that reporting about society’s issues via the solutions lens was essential to change the perspectives of media audiences who viewed the reportage of the mainstream media as one filled with negative and bad news.

One of the facilitators who is also a lecturer and researcher at the Crescent University, Abeokuta, Jamiu Folarin, in his presentation, stated the need for universities to include solutions journalism into academic course works and curriculum.

While sharing experiences from how he was leading the integration of solutions into courseworks in his university, he said the concept was a veritable tool to catch young students of journalism very young.

He further called on policymakers including the National Universities Commission, National Board for Technical Education to include solutions journalism into journalism curriculum or as a course for Mass Communication or Communication and Language Art students.

Also, the Executive Director of the Media Career Development Network, Lekan Otufodunrin urged media practitioners to take to using the solutions journalism approach to report serious issues affecting the country.

Otufodurin noted that journalists can also report on solutions to existing problems.

He said, “Advocacy for solutions journalism is not denying the existence of enormous problems to be reported by the media which should be reported.

“Solutions Journalism is another approach to media reporting which journalists should adopt. To justify the need for SoJo, it has to be properly done and provide all the necessary perspectives that will make it a solutions report.â€

On his part, Ifedayo Ogunyemi, a 2022 LEDE Fellow and Senior Reporter with the Nigerian Tribune, decried the situation whereby the negativity inherent in news reportage was further driving audiences away from media products including news reports and broadcasts programmes.

Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Oyo State, Ademola Babalola, also charged educators and practitioners to embrace the concept as a genre of journalism that could be used to drive accountability in the society.

One of the participating lecturers and former Head of the Department of Mass Communication at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Olusoji Olatunji, pledged to propose the integration of solutions journalism into media education to the school authority.

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