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Seminar boosts editorial skills of Sokoto journalists, students

Dr. Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed (mni)

Humint Development Consult Limited, along with Daily Trust Foundation and Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) recently held a seminar with the theme “Capacity Building on the Rudiments and Practice of Editorial Work in Media Houses,” aimed at improving the skills of editorial staff of Sokoto State media outlets and students of UDU’s Mass Communication Department.

The seminar, according to a Communique signed by Dr. Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed, mni, Chairman, Communique Committee, brought together 20 editorial staff members from various Sokoto State media organizations and 10 Mass Communication students from UDUS.

Dr. Abubakar Musa Mijinyawa, Head of the Mass Communication Department, welcomed the participants while the technical session of the seminar featured presentations from six eminent scholars and experienced professionals, namely Prof. Gausu Ahmad, Dr. Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, Malam Mahmud Muhammad Jega, Prof. Yunusa Zakari Ya’u, Mrs. Hafsat Sahabi Dange Esq., and Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako.

The opening ceremony of the event was chaired by Prof. Bashiru Garba MFR, Vice Chancellor of Sokoto State University, represented by Prof. Attahiru A. Sifawa, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) while goodwill messages were delivered by the Regional Manager (North West) of the Daily Trust Group and the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sokoto State Council.

Prof. Lawal Suleiman Bilbis, Vice Chancellor of UDUS, officially declared open the seminar.

Prof. Bashiru Garba stressed the importance of the media in supporting democracy in Nigeria and the need for the training of editors and students to perform their duties effectively.

Malam Yusha’u Ibrahim, from the Daily Trust Foundation, highlighted the Foundation’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, including award of scholarships, assistance to orphanages and inmates of Correctional Centres,  and execution of critical community projects.

Alhaji Dalhatu Abdullahi Safiyel Magori, Chairman of the NUJ, Sokoto State Council, stated its commitment to the training of its members and hailed Humint Development Consult for its efforts at improving journalists’ skills.

The UDU Vice Chancellor, speaking through Prof. Yusuf Saidu, announced that the university’s Mass Communication Department had been granted a license to operate an FM Radio Station (89.7), which has come on stream, and revealed plans for the establishment of a TV station and for the upgrade of the Department to the Faculty of Communication.

During the seminar, several key issues were discussed, including the need for Editorial teams to deliver timely, accurate, and engaging content; the necessity for attention to details and critical thinking which are essential for editorial work; and the unique challenges faced during audio-visual content production, the skills sets required for such productions, and the necessity for proficiency in visual storytelling techniques and multimedia content creation.

Also discussed was the fact that the rise of the Social Media underscores the transformative impact of digital platforms on news dissemination and audience engagement; and “the exponential growth of the Social Media as a primary source of news and information dissemination coupled with the proliferation of misinformation and fake news was noted.”

The seminar pointed out that Journalists must uphold truth and accuracy to avoid legal issues and that compliance with broadcasting regulations is crucial for public trust.

After the extensive deliberations, the seminar recommended that Media houses should invest in better pay, modernize workflows, and improve infrastructure; that continuous training should be provided for editorial staff; that specialized training for broadcast teams be provided to enhance content quality and that robust fact-checking and ethical guidelines should be established.

Also, it was stressed that Editorial staff should adhere to ethical standards and legal guidelines and that broadcast outfits should always comply with broadcasting standards.

The Communique also said that the organizers of the seminar thanked all the dignitaries, resource persons, participants, and sponsors of the programme, especially the Daily Trust Foundation, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, and the NUJ Sokoto State Council, for their contributions to the seminar’s success.

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