The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in collaboration with the Inter Press Services (IPS) are training journalists from different countries in Africa in disseminating research results.
The five-day virtual training, which started on Monday, September 19 2020, has brought together journalists from Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Rwanda, Kenya, Zambia and other countries in Africa. The trainers are Nalisha Adams, IPS coordinator for Africa, Asia and the Caribbean and multi-award winning international journalist, Stella Paula.
IITA has received a three-year research grant from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (Ifad) to run the “enhancing capacity to apply research evidence in policy for youth engagement in agribusiness and rural economic activities in Africa” Care Project.
In an invite to journalists, Ifad communication officer Timilehin Osunde hinted that the project seeks to improve the availability, exchange, dissemination and use of research findings in the field of agribusiness and rural economic activities from young African scholars. She added that research evidence will inform policy and practice in support of economic growth and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and regional levels in Africa.
The journalists yesterday discussed how to interview scientists and write research-based stories in a language that can be understood by farmers and non-science people. Trainee Moses Michael Phiri expressed excitement with the training.
“Science reporting can be tricky sometimes because of the technical nature of the field. So the approach the trainers have taken by making it more interactive has made it easier for us intermediaries to follow and learn new tricks along the way. I really like the approach.
“What I have learnt so far is to record an interview using RecForge II. It is a new tool that I find interesting. Secondly, tips on agriculture will make it easy for me to get new angles to agriculture coverage,” Phiri, Weekend Nation section editor, said.
He pledged to impact the skills learnt to Nation Publications Limited (NPL) reporters and editors. Tomorrow, they will discuss day mobile journalism and the training will wind up on Friday, October 23, with a presentation on social media.