Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/CEO of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), has called for more collaboration between journalists and media organisations for global impact as the world battles with the effect of wars, pandemics and climate change. She made this call as part of the 95 global speakers at the 2022 International Press Institute (IPI) organised global conference themed ‘Journalism on the frontline of democracy’ held from 8 to10 September 2022 at Columbia University, New York.
Alaka advocated continuous training of media practitioners for the long-term survival of the profession while discussing ‘Collaboration in the time of crisis’ alongside Michael Hudson, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist; and Ottavia Spaggiari, freelance investigative journalist and writer-fellow at Alicia Patterson Foundation, at the session moderated by Ron Nixon, Global Investigations Editor, Associated Press.
For Hudson, within the hemisphere of collaboration, there is no place for competition as journalists take a step back to get a bigger picture. Working with people ready to collaborate makes the process seamless according to Spaggiari.
Diverse topics such as disinformation and its effect on news reports, the roles of independent journalists and newsrooms in addressing disinformation, and the need to regulate big technology companies and social media platforms were discussed by speakers at the three-day conference. The session provided a platform for cross-pollination of ideas, experiences, and learning about collaborations.
A number of leaders of the Nigerian media space such as Kabir Yusuf, Chairman, Trust Media Group; Folu Olamiti, Chairman, Advent Cable Network Television; Raheem Adedoyin, Chairman, Editorial Board of The Herald; Ralph Akinfeleye, Professor of Mass Communication; Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity; Zainab Okino, Chairman, Editorial Board of Blueprint Newspapers; Eniola Bello, Managing Director, ThisDay Newspapers; and Steve Ayorinde, former Editor, Punch Newspaper, also participated in conference.