The chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, FCT council, Comrade Paul Ella Abechi will in the second quarter of 2018 lead a team comprising members of the Council for a United States of America, USA sponsored International Visitors Leadership Programme, IVLP on Demand in the US.
Comrade Abechi who announced details of the programme at the Council’s congress equally expressed appreciation to the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy, Abuja for considering and approving members of the NUJ for the exchange programme.
The IVLP, a professional exchange programme funded by US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, offers current and emerging international leaders the opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of American political, economic, social and cultural life through carefully designed exchanges that reflect participants’ professional interests and the public diplomacy objectives of the United States government.
The IVLP on Demand which the Nigerian journalists would be attending targets experienced journalists and aims to boost their skills in promoting good governance, transparency and curbing corruption. They are expected to share knowledge gained from the programme with their colleagues on their return.
Sources from the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy explained that “By providing this groups of journalists an opportunity to visit and learn from outstanding American journalists who cover stories related to accountability and transparency in government, the Mission will help increase the capacity of Nigerian journalists to report on these issues professionally and effectively at home..
“They are also pledging to share their knowledge with as many other journalists as possible. Therefore this IVLP On Demand supports the Mission’s ICS goals of strengthening democratic institutions, promoting good governance, and fighting corruption and impunity”
Amongst others, the Nigerian journalists will be exposed to a wide range of US media organisations with a history of promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability in a variety of American media markets.
The journalists would amongst others be exposed to research and reporting skills relating to government projects and spending, including how the Federal and State Freedom of Information, FoI Acts are utilised as well as data journalism skills and techniques.
During the programme, possible inter locutors include Washington Post, WNBC-TV and WNYC (radio) in New York city, Boston Globe and WGBH or WBUH (radio), Chicago Sun-Times or Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Constitution, and CNN
Others includes KABC in Lois Angeles, plus national and local Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs working on good governance, anti-corruption, labour rights, criminal justice or environmental protection. They would also visit State Department bureaus.
By Ebriku John Friday, Abuja