Three students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, have been selected for the 2023 funded media fellowship of the Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals (AFYMP).
The selected students are Echo Media campus journalists [the longest-serving media outlet in AAUA]. The selected students include Emmanuel Oluwadola, a News Editor, selected for the Disability and Inclusion category; Boluwatife Adedokun, a Health Editor and Mercy Abiodun, a reporter, who made the list of fellows for the campus journalism category.
Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals(AFYMP) is a funded media fellowship that includes in-person two days of intensive workshops, and six mentorship sessions for successful applicants across geo-political zones in Nigeria.
The categories of the fellowship which is in its second year are Media Entrepreneurship, thought leadership, and Niche building; Campus journalism: ethics, safety, fact-checking, and data-driven journalism; Women in Journalism, New Talents Development; and Disability and Inclusion.
According to AFYMP’s Executive Director, Yinka Olaito, the 2023 media fellowship is unique because the mentorship will spread for about six months.
Olaito stated that the fellowship divided into four categories would allow participants to only apply for just one of the categories.
The in-workshops for all four categories will be held in four locations: Lagos, Ibadan, Owerri, and Port Harcourt with full transport fare which may be covered by the fellowship or be highly subsidized by AFYMP.
Last year cohort four AAUA students selected were honored and presented prizes at the event held at the Centre for Management Development, Magodo, Lagos State.
Speaking with Edugist the selected fellows expressed joy, letting out that the fellowship would aid and broaden their knowledge in journalism.
Mercy Abiodun told Edugist that the fellowship would equip her to do community-related and under-reported stories as well as happenings related to campus with human interest.
Abiodun maintained that she applied through Echo media with optimism of being selected which would be a head start for her journalism career.
According to her, AFYP would give her the avenue to develop and connect as a foundation that helps next-generation and early-career journalists to develop in the media field.
“I decided to apply at a late hour, which was at the end of last month. I didn’t even believe I would be selected at the end of the day, because I felt there would be too many experienced people applying for it.
“In the application form that I filled I was asked for the type of programme I would like to go for and I chose campus journalism also there was a question about sharing my interest in the course I selected which I answered and I was asked to write about myself and how I would put the learnings from the program into practice but there were other questions in the from which I have not mentioned here.
“I got the acceptance letter on Friday Morning and I was so grateful beyond measure when I saw the acceptance notification.”
Abiodun appreciated the President of the Nigeria Union of Campus Journalists, AAUA chapter, Friday Omosola for being a very big impact on her journalism career as well as other NUCJ members for their overzealousness in journalism.
In her admonition for other campus journalists, she urged them to do whatever they are interested in with passion and also learn to be optimistic about opportunities.
Emmanuel Oluwadola who made the list of the first cohort in 2022 said the cohort opened his eyes to a lot, saying he had been applying the knowledge gained in his journalism career.
Oluwadola who doubled as Vice-President Editorial of NUCJ AAUA chapter maintained that the saying ‘No knowledge is lost’ was not a mere saying as knowledge from the previous cohort had helped him attain many positions and take up more roles.
Another selected Echo Media journalist, Boluwatife Adedokun told Edugist that her selection was an opportunity to learn from veteran journalists in the field.
“Learning from seasoned Journalists who have been on the field for the past few years, and the certificate will also help in future opportunities and I will have the chance to network with Campus Journalists like me, and the experienced ones.”
Adedokun maintained that she is optimistic to network with people and apply the lessons learned in her journalism career.
In her words of admonition, she urged campus journalists to keep writing and not be discouraged by disappointments or setbacks.
“They should keep applying for fellowship programs and improve their writing skills by reading the works of other journalists.
“They should never give up because they are not earning. There are opportunities in the media industry that are meant for only those who have worked for it. They should not chase money first, but be passionate about their career.
“They should not be discouraged if they are not getting money, because money and opportunities will later come for those who have prepared for it.”
By: Friday Omosola