Stanbic IBTC partners The Media Training Room to upskill journalists

Participants at The Media Room Training programme 2024

Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc has collaborated with The Media Training Room (TMTR) in training a select group of Nigerian journalists from diverse media outlets in Lagos.

The training held on May 30 focused primarily on equipping the participants with tools and insights to better understand how to avoid falling into the landmines of fake news, unethical practices and cybercrime, as well as how to gather and report activities in Nigeria’s banking and finance sector.

Facilitators at the training programme included Jekwu Ozoemene, the CEO, HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria, an Africa finance specialist, adjunct faculty, strategy and international business at Lagos Business School (LBS), who covered “Essentials of Reporting Banking and Finance;” Peter Okwoche, an award winning BBC journalist and host of BBC Focus on Africa, who facilitated the “Fake news: A case for ethics and professionalism in the Nigerian media” module; Deji Olatoye, a partner of The Lodt Law Offices, Lagos, a corporate law firm, who spoke on the theme, “The Cybercrime Act and the Nigerian Media: Understanding the legal minefield,” and Toni Kan, an award-winning writer, journalist and freelance journalist at the FT, whose topic of delivery was “Keeping facts sacred in the age of social media, misinformation, disinformation, and mal-information.”

The training focused primarily on equipping the participants with tools and insights to better understand the extant Cybercrime Act; how to gather news and report activities within Nigeria’s banking and finance sector, as well as the practice of journalism as it evolves in the age of social media. It also focused on ethics and professionalism in the face of the fake news epidemic.

In Ozoemene’s delivery, he emphasised the need for incisive and analytical news reports in covering the sector and the economy, and urged participants to practise quality journalism, which involves journalists bearing witness, digging into records, developing sources, checking and double-checking while asking critical questions.

Olatoye explained that the Cybercrime Act is “one of the most insidious pieces of anti-press legislation ever” and urged participating journalists to be aware of its provisions and how it affects their practice. He also urged the participants to be better equipped to do the important work they do in an ethical and professional manner, especially in this age of social media and fake news.

Toni Kan, writer, editor, public relations executive and teacher, focused on fake news, misinformation, disinformation and malinformation in a post-truth dispensation while noting that the term “fake news” is not new. He explained how it has been used in recent years to impact on local and national conversations around economic, political, societal, and public health issues. He emphasised that it is an unethical practice that needs to be eschewed by journalists.

The Media Training Room, founded by Toni Kan and Peju Akande, is a skills-based, practice-led certificate-awarding institute, which commenced operations in February 2018 with a training programme for select journalists drawn from print, broadcast, and online platforms. The May 30, 2024 session which had 27 journalists in attendance was the fourth in the series sponsored by Stanbic IBTC.