As the media space is rapidly changing, with citizen journalism, digital media, data science, solution journalism, and other innovations changing journalistic practice and media content production, organisations and institutions are taking bold action to help journalists understand these changes and equip them with new skills needed to function in the new age of media.
Nigeria’s leading technology company, MTN Nigeria, has joined global organisations supporting media practitioners to stay relevant in an ever-changing media profession with the launch of groundbreaking Media Innovation Programme to train 20 Nigerian media practitioners in digital skills, improvement in writing and reporting skills through group presentations and sessions on PowerPoint tools for effective communication.
“The MIP fellows will engage in intensive sessions on courses covering creativity and innovation, entrepreneurship and management principles, subscription business, strategic planning skills, amongst others,” Karl Toriola, the CEO of MTN Nigeria, said at the launch of the programme on Wednesday, April 27 at the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.
The six-month fully funded fellowship programme is in partnership with the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, in Lagos. The 20 Fellows will spend some time in accelerator labs and innovation centres, creating and incubating ideas, as well as a study visit to the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, adjudged one of the top universities in Africa in media training.
The Media Innovation Programme is coming at a time when media leaders from more than 50 countries across the world say lack of sufficient resources and skills are the major barriers to delivering innovation in their works, according to the ‘Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions 2022’ report published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, in January 2022.
The report revealed that around 51% of 246 media leaders in 52 countries surveyed say they don’t have enough money to invest in innovation this year. A similar proportion says they struggle to hire or keep enough technical, design, or data staff to deliver solutions.
Through the MIP, MTN will be investing over N300 million in helping Nigerian journalists deliver innovation in their works and have a better understanding of media business and revenue models in a way that guarantees career and financial success.
By investing in media training for journalists in different beats, MTN continues its tradition of contributing significantly to educational growth in Nigeria.
“We are driven by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected world inspired by the potential of Africa. The world is constantly evolving, with the media landscape changing at remarkable speed boosted by technology. Our motivation is to support the Nigerian media space with our infrastructure and enable capacity building initiatives to accelerate innovation in media practice.”
“It’s a delight to partner with Pan-Atlantic University, who through their expertise have contributed to the professional development of the media industry, not only in Nigeria but across Africa,” Karl Toriola, CEO, MTN Nigeria noted during the announcement.