A PREMIUM TIMES reporter, Abdulkareem Mojeed, and nine other journalists from Nigeria and Kenya have been awarded grants by Solutions Journalism Africa to tell solution-driven stories.
Mr Mojeed, a business and agric correspondent of this newspaper, was awarded the grant for his pitch on “how farmers are using climate smart agricultural practices to boycott existing extreme climatic events in Abuja sub-urban communities.”
The pitch seeks to identify “sustainable climate smart practices” farmers are using to fend off the devastating effects of extreme climatic events in Nigeria.
This way, the findings in the report could serve as a template for other farmers to seamlessly adapt to the new reality in order to forge ahead.
Mr Mojeed, a 2020 Climate Reality Leadership fellow and 2021 Climate Tracker Global Landscape Forum fellow, is a botany graduate of the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom. He is currently a fellow of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) Natural Resource and Extractives Programme on climate reporting.
Alongside him, four other Nigerians were awarded the grant. The programme runs until November.
They include Jamiu Folarin, a lecturer at Crescent University, Abeokuta, who would embark on a curriculum development project by mainstreaming solutions journalism in Ogun State.
Others include Zainab Sanni, who will be setting up a solutions journalism investigative radio desk at Agdigbo 88.7FM; Seun Durojaiye, who will pioneer solutions journalism training in Nigeria’s official languages; and Lekan Otufodunrin, who will build and run the Solutions Journalism West Africa Hub.
A statement by Solutions Journalism Network Africa Initiative Manager, Ruona Meyer, noted that the five Kenya-based fellows include Edith Magak, who would be working with “people living with disabilities to showcase community-based solutions” and Christopher Omondi, who will be “working on a series of radio reports on how motorcycle riders are curing the spread of COVID-19.”
Others are Angela Oketch, whose project will “cover the solutions HIV-positive families have come up with to suppress the virus; Brian Malika will train young people under 24 to report on climate change solutions in rural communities and filmmaker Rey Bulambo, whose project uses digital theatre to highlight the solutions created by community members living in a camp for displaced persons.”
One of the co-founders, Solutions Journalism Network, who is also a New York Times journalist, David Bornstein, said the fellowship was geared towards the goal of the organisation to change the narrative about how the “the news was telling too many stories that were causing people to feel powerless, out of control, depressed, fatalistic and scared.”
Alternatively, the fellowship was to promote “rigorous reporting that really looks at what people are trying to do to solve problems, (whether or not they are successful), and what we can learn from their efforts would be the single most important balance that we could bring to information in the world.”
The Solutions Journalism Network, a non-profit organisation with a presence across 18 countries, and over 500 newsrooms, holds the fellowship as a part of its Initiative to train and fund 60 newsrooms and 30 Fellows across Nigeria and Kenya over a three-year period.
The fellowship is a partnership between SJN and Science Africa, a Nairobi-based science and communication consultancy firm.
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