HumAngle Sets Ball Rolling For Accountability Fellowship’s Fourth Cohort

With support from the MacArthur Foundation, the fellows will undergo a three-day training on topics related to accountability and investigative journalism. They will then return to their respective communities to implement activities aligned with the programme objectives.

HumAngle has kickstarted the fourth cohort of its accountability fellowship, comprising nine participants from Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe in Nigeria’s North East region.

The years-long programme, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, aims to build young people’s capacity to address issues related to insecurity and humanitarian crises in the region through accountability journalism and advocacy.

Between Monday and Wednesday (May 13 to 15), the fellows will undergo training to prepare them for the roles they will be expected to fulfil upon their return to their respective states. The training includes sessions on conflict-sensitive writing, investigative journalism, fact-checking, multimedia reporting, solutions reporting, SGBV reporting, budget tracking, climate change, and mental health. 

The fellows also watched a clip using virtual reality (VR) headsets. They said the experience showed them the potential of immersive storytelling and its capacity to attract a person’s undivided attention.

On Monday, HumAngle’s CEO, Ahmad Salkida, led the fellows on a tour of the organisation’s office, providing insights into its different branches, including the media, foundation, and mental health clinic.

He said the fellowship was designed to mentor talents in the BAY states, which have been ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the crisis has directly and indirectly led to the death of nearly 350,000 people as of 2021. It has also displaced over 2.3 million in the Lake Chad region.

“With little or no accountability, the problem will continue to fester,” Salkida added.

Each cohort of the programme lasts for six months. 

Nabila Gidado, the fellowship co-coordinator, introduced the programme’s objectives and structure. Khadijat Ibrahim, Head of HR and Admin, then presented the organisation’s principles, code of ethics, and expectations. “Being innovative and upholding professionalism throughout this program is a must,” she emphasised.

A video produced by past fellows was screened, showcasing how multimedia tools were used in documenting their activities and the impact they had on their communities.

“Multimedia, a combination of traditional media and captivating visuals, enhances storytelling,” Salkida noted. 

“It helps one convey a message more effectively, illustrates points and creates a memorable impression. Therefore, with a focus on the organisation’s core interest, as fellows, we are all expected to use our smartphones, portable microphones and tripods in a good way.” 

During her session, which introduced the fellows to journalism, HumAngle’s Managing Editor, Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu, discussed the guidelines for reporting for HumAngle. She covered topics such as the fundamentals of storytelling, interviewing vulnerable individuals, ethical considerations, plagiarism, and various methods for gathering information.

“Conflict reporting requires the highest ethical consideration; you have to ensure you are not tricking your sources or putting them under any uncomfortable situations,” she said. 

Kunle Adebajo, HumAngle’s Investigations Editor, similarly led a session on investigation techniques and fact-checking. He offered insights into the scientific method and emphasised the importance of being open-minded, observant, and consulting primary sources during research.

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