Ag. Commandant of NASPRI, Col. Mustapha Anka, in a group photograph with participants and resource persons at the end of the training programme in Bonny Camp, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Maritime reporters at a three-day training were exposed to rudiments for effective engagement of the social media platforms in their daily reportage of industry activities.
The training, themed “Challenges and Opportunities for Maritime News Reportage in an Increasingly Digital Mobile and Social Media Environment” was facilitated by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in collaboration with the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI), from January 20- 22 in Bonny Camp, Victoria Island Lagos.
Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, in her opening remarks said the training programme was part of efforts to continually sustain relationship with the media, who are vital stakeholders reporting the NPA’s activities as key regulatory agency of the maritime industry.
According to the managing director, the training would be mutually benefiting to the journalists as well as the NPA, as both parties would have the opportunity of addressing issues of common interest for their good.
Represented by Mr. Olusola Akosile, Head of Graphics and Production Unit of the Corporate and Strategic Communication Department, the managing director said it delights the NPA to support worthy causes that could further progress the maritime media in carrying out their duties.
She noted that “the digital media has been embraced and people now get the news on the go. I read news on my phone, therefore, I am convinced participants will learn a lot from this training.”
Welcoming the journalists drawn from various media organisations to the training session, the Ag. Commandant of NASPRI, Col. Mustapha Anka, advised that they took seriously the sensitive nature of using information from the social media, particularly as it concerned the security and protection of the nation’s integrity.
Anka also urged the journalists to ensure that facts were confirmed with the appropriate authorities before they published reports that could go viral on the social media, thus becoming impossible to retrieve.
He said: “The media are very powerful, therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that you check with the authorities on information you have to publish. This is important because it shapes the decisions many people will be making.
“If you only project the country by way of reporting the maritime industry, in a negative manner, then it becomes difficult to encourage foreign investors. Of course, you will do your job, the credibility of your news source is important, in order to safeguard the nation.”
The core of the training covered the need for maritime journalists to pursue original stories, be objective and be very mindful of how the social media platforms would be used as they carry out their duties reporting the maritime industry.
Resource persons who delivered the different papers during the training period were Maj. Olabisi Ayeni, Dr. Olunifesi Suraj, a Senior Lecturer of Mass Communication Department at the University of Lagos, Mr. Marcel Anyanwu, a Consultant on the NASPRI programme and Mr. Lawal Ahmed, Zonal Coordinator of the Nigerian Television Authority(NTA) 2 Network, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Papers delivered included ‘’Social Media/Maritime Reportage: Issues, Options and Strategies; “Using Social Media to Engage Maritime Audience with a Goal of Increasing Trust in Professional Maritime Reportage; “Trust, Facts and Engagements: Knowing when and how to engage maritime stakeholders”; “Preservation of National Security and Reputation of Organisation through Fair Reportage” and “Convergence and Leveraging Media Consumption Changes to Benefit Industry Stakeholders.”
Staff members of the Corporate and Strategic Communication Department of the NPA also participated in the training.