The official onboarding of the 2023 cohort of the HumAngle Accountability Fellowship ended on Jan. 14.
On Jan. 12, HumAngle began an in-house training of nine young persons from Northeast Nigeria (Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe) on its accountability fellowship. The fellows were welcomed and inducted at the head office in Abuja. A similar thing was done for the first Cohort in July 2022.
As part of the method conceived by HumAngle to furnish the cohort with necessary skills, sessions packed with lessons, paper presentations, and mentorship exercises with experts within and outside of the organization have taken place.
The Director of Operations at the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, Oluwatosin Alagbe during her session, urged the fellows to be focused and utilize the possibilities that lie within the fellowship to help them streamline their ideas and to have a clear path that will turn their ideas to reality.
She said, “The fellowship organized by HumAngle is a very fantastic idea. To come up with such an idea at this crucial moment when too many self-acclaimed journalists are coming up on social media is not only commendable but necessary to combat misinformation and fake journalism.”
“HumanAngle is setting a standard for humanitarian reporting and advocacy in Nigeria. This fellowship will not only help the northeast but Nigeria as a nation about under-reporting of important issues in the Northeast,” she added.
On the last day of the fellowship, the fellows were taught the concept of ethics and the responsibilities that are expected of them as HumAngle fellows.
The session was led by Ime Enang who charged the fellows to carry out their projects credibly. She advised them to abide by the organization’s mission and also commended their passion for desiring change.
Isaac Oritogun took the fellows on the introductory part of research and how it relates to their designed projects. According to him, all fellows must possess certain research qualities which include patience, excellent communication skills, curiosity, sympathy, and commitment, and must possess an analytical mind among other qualities.
He also taught the fellows about the process involved in carrying out field research and how to approach their sources. “Carrying out research will not be possible if you don’t know how to communicate appropriately with your sources,” he said. “Any research you embark on, credibility should be what drives you. If not, you will suffer for nothing,” he added.
Before the closing remarks, the CEO of HumAngle, Ahmad Salkida split the fellows into three groups and demanded that each group make a presentation on the lessons learned so far.
The groups were split into A, B, and C consisting of three members each. The group leaders were elected by group members and the presentation was done on behalf of the groups by their leaders. The presentations were based on lessons learned, and experiences gathered, also observations and recommendations were made.
Among the lessons learned was how to carry out solutions journalism, conduct field research, track public funds, and sensitize the public on social issues like GBV, advocacy, and activism.
Speaking on their experiences, the fellows lauded HumAngle’s devotion to public service journalism. They applauded the staff for the warm reception and said they were grateful for the opportunity to serve as fellows. They recommended that the fellowship be extended to other regions and should be a continuous process.
While giving his closing remarks, Salkida reminded the fellows of their responsibilities and stated that their projects will be tracked. He made the fellows understand that they could reach out to the organization at any given time when faced with any challenge.
The onboarding stage might have come to an end but for the fellows, it’s the beginning of their tasks.
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