Journalists, are key players in the policymaking space. As such, it is essential that they are well-equipped to be able to effectively drive public conversations around policy issues. It is on this basis that the Nigeria Strategy Support Program of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI-NSSP) delivered a policy communications training for 27 journalists based in Niger State from 13-14 November 2018.
The participants (13 male, 14 female) at the training were all professionals working with various news media firms, including privately, federal and state-owned organizations. The training provided journalists with an introduction to the concepts of policy communications and the use of social media for disseminating and tracking policy-relevant information. Participants also got the opportunity to work on converting policy-relevant agricultural research into stories that would engage a non-technical audience, particularly policymakers and farmers.
In his remarks at the end of the training course, and on behalf of other participants, Dan Atori, Correspondent with New Telegraph stated, “Sincerely, I must commend the team [led by] Elisabeth Douglas and Bisola [Oyediran]… I have been a beneficiary of earlier trainings and I can say that all my reports have been standing out in my organization… I want to most sincerely appreciate IFPRI because truth be told and consequences be damned, most of our colleagues and journalists in the state have not had the opportunity to be trained like this. We will put all that we have learned to use, and we will not disappoint you. And the next time you come here, you will beat your chest.”
The training is part of capacity-building efforts on the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project. The Project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/Nigeria) and jointly implemented by Michigan State University and IFPRI-NSSP.