The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) has selected twelve female journalists for the champion building edition of its 2023 Report Women! Female Reporters’ Leadership Programme (FRLP) fellowship.
This fifth edition of the fellowship, which will commence with a three-day residential training from Monday 3rd to Wednesday 5th March in Lagos, will build the capacities of the female reporters to lead the cause for women as leaders in the newsrooms and expert-sources in news.
The 12 reporters are Karina Igonikon of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Pidgin, Rivers, Zubaida Baba Ibrahim – HumAngle Media, Abuja, Ijeoma Okereke-Adagba – Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), Abuja, Sarah Ayeku – TVCNews, Lagos and Fortunate Ozo of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Ebonyi. Others are Folashade Ogunrinde – TV360 Nigeria, Lagos, Bamas Victoria – International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Abuja, Yemi Olus-Galadima – Making of Champions, Lagos, Blessing Oladunjoye – a freelance reporter, Lagos and Martha Asumata Agas – News Agency of Nigeria, Plateau, Olufisoye Adenitan of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ondo and Maryam Abdullahi of The Cable Newspaper, Niger . They were shortlisted from 173 valid entries, with three from Zambia, Ghana, and Kenya respectively.
The Champion’s building activity is part of the Report Women! News and Newsroom Engagement project which is designed to engage the management and staff of news media organisations within Nigeria and eventually Africa and beyond to intentionally increase the representation of women in their coverage newsroom leadership and to engage more female experts as sources. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has supported the initiative since 2021.
In addition to the training, the fellowship will include a three-month mentorship, virtual share-fairs, and the reporters will undertake investigative stories and leadership projects.
Some of the resource persons and mentors that will support the reporters capacity development are, Stella Din-Jacob, Director of News, TVC Communications, Lagos; Rommy Mom, President, Lawyers Alert; Abiola Afolabi-Akiyode, Executive Director Women Advocacy Research and Development Centre (WARDC) and Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/CEO, WSCIJ.
The WSCIJ initiated the Report Women! programme in 2014 to increase the quality and number of reports about girls and women in Nigeria.
In 2017, it introduced the FRLP Fellowship to develop a network of female journalists prepared to lead the highest leadership roles in the media, learn and train others to mainstream girls and women in the news and be foot soldiers that challenge status quo and change the face of leadership in the newsrooms and news to be as female as they are male. So far, 74 fellows have been inducted into the fellowship.