The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism held its second Report Women Fellowship in Lagos Nigeria from the 1st to the 4th of October 2018. This year’s fellowship brought together 20 female Journalists from across Africa.
The Report Women! Female Reporters’ Leadership Programme (FRLP) is a project designed by the WSCIJ to empower female reporters with the skills, tools and support to take the bold steps that help position the female gender for the highest leadership roles in their various media organisations.
Motunrayo Alaka, the Centre coordinator of WSCIJ, said that the FRLP was organised to empower female journalists with skills that would embolden them to emerge as leaders in their various media organisations. She said the programme was a response to the observed gap that existed in the ratio of female to male leadership in Nigeria’s newsrooms.
“Our survey on the leadership status of female reporters in Nigerian newsroom conducted in 2017 revealed a ratio of 10:2 representation in board and management levels in favour of men.
“There have been little deliberate efforts to ensure female reporters get to the highest echelons of leadership in the newsrooms and the major thrust of the FRLP, which includes the fellowship award, is our decision to be intentional about changing this anomaly,” she said.
The programme kicked off in 2017 with fellowships given to fifteen female journalists from media organizations within Nigeria. These fellows were empowered to execute projects that were women-centric, using the knowledge gathered from the fellowship and guided by mentors assigned to them from the programme, to tell better gender-inclusive stories.
This year’s edition of the 2018 Female Reporters Leadership Programme was keenly contested with 199 applications from 9 different countries including Malawi, Iran, Saudi, Ghana, India, Malawi, Uganda, Palau, Tanzania and Togo. Of the 199 applications received, 20 women were selected to attend the training and become fellows of the FLRP.
Mrs Alaka said the four-day training programme is designed to address how female journalists can increase their participatory and performance levels to better position themselves for leadership opportunities.
At this year’s event, the conversation centred around leadership, gender mainstreaming in the newsroom, work-life effectiveness, entrepreneurship options for Journalists, security and safety, capacity building and public speaking.
The women learning from the FLRP faculty who are veterans in the media industry are Frontline broadcaster Mrs Eugenia Abu, Executive Director of Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre Mrs Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Deputy Director of Enterprise Development Cente Pan Atlantic University Mrs Nneka Okekearu, Broadcast Manager and Lawyer Stella Din Jacob, Programme Coordinator Free Press Unlimited Bethel Tsagaye and Media Career Development Specialist Mr. Lekan Otufordurin.1