Media professionals and journalism teachers have called for the integration of the solution journalism concept into the curriculum of tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
They stressed that the new generation of journalists should be exposed to the concept of solutions journalism as part of the various ways they could cause changes in the development of society while holding power to account.
They made this call at a one-day workshop themed ‘Integrating Solutions Journalism into Nigerian Media Education’ organized by I-79 Media Consults under their Campus Solutions project as part of the LEDE 2022 grant.
The event, supported by the US-based Solutions Journalism Network, was held at the Oyo State National Union of Journalists secretariat, Ibadan.
Pundits and academics also argued that reporting on society’s problems through the lens of solutions was essential to changing the perspectives of media audiences who viewed mainstream media reporting as full of bad and negative news. .
One of the facilitators, who is also a professor and researcher at Crescent University, Abeokuta, Jamiu Folarin, in his presentation, stated the need for universities to include solutions journalism in academic courses and curriculum.
Sharing experiences on how he was leading the way in integrating solutions into courses at his university, he said the concept was a real tool to engage young journalism students from a very young age.
In addition, he asked legislators, including the National Commission on Universities, the National Board of Technical Education, to include solutions journalism in the journalism curriculum or as a course for Mass Communication or Communication and Language Arts students. .
In addition, Media Career Development Network CEO Lekan Otufodunrin urged media professionals to use the solutions journalism approach to report on serious issues affecting the country.
Otufodurin noted that journalists can also report on solutions to existing problems.
He said: “Advocating solutions journalism is not denying the existence of huge problems that the media must and should report.
“Solutions Journalism is another media approach that journalists should embrace. To justify the need for SoJo, it has to be done right and provide all the necessary insights that make it a solutions brief.”
For his part, Ifedayo Ogunyemi, a member of LEDE 2022 and senior reporter for the Nigerian Tribune, denounced the situation where the negativity inherent in news reporting further alienated audiences from media products, including news reporting. and broadcast programs.
The president of the Nigerian Journalists Union in Oyo State, Ademola Babalola, also called on educators and professionals to embrace the concept as a genre of journalism that could be used to boost accountability in society.
One of the participating teachers and former head of the Department of Mass Communication at Ibadan Polytechnic, Olusoji Olatunji, undertook to propose to the school authority the integration of solutions journalism in media education.