First agric journalism masterclass opens in Abuja today

Forty journalists from all sections of the country will join policy leaders in the agriculture sector from today for the National Agriculture Symposium in Abuja, according to a statement by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), organisers of the event.
According to the statement, the symposium will offer a policy back drop for the journalists as they proceed tomorrow to a three-day boot camp on agriculture solution journalism, Joshua Olufemi, the programme director of the centre, said in the statement which also announced the from a short list of 154 applicants.
He said the application pattern showed a broad taste for quality training in the sector, and that the outcome of the programme portends well for improved reporting and analysis in the sector.
Lagos state leads in the number of applicants with 42 applicants followed by Abuja with 25 applicants.
Applications were gotten from 22 states including Abuja with Anambra, Bauchi, Imo and Zamfara states having the lowest of one each.
Olufemi said comments from applicants indicate a greater demand for data analysis skills to support better reporting although many respondents to the call for application expressed concerns that agricultural data are not readily available making their tasks difficult.
“One clear realisation from the applications” Olufemi said, was the realisation that most newsrooms gave scant regard to reporting the sector as they thought the agriculture sector was not lucrative enough.
Speaking on the training, Dapo Olorunyomi, the Publisher/CEO of Premium Times, said the successful applicants will have an opportunity of learning from seasoned professionals. In his words, “participants will learn a whole lot in using data to tell stories and proper communication in agricultural program.”
The Masterclass bootcamp, Olorunyomi said, would provide a dynamic professional development experience for attendees to focus on reporting, writing, and editing skills; agricultural issues from policy to the farm-gate; communication ethics; audience engagement strategies across platforms, data and investigative journalism skills; leadership skill, and media and agribusiness trends.
The training will hold from November 27 to 30, 2017, in Abuja.

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