The media is in crisis. Journalists, academics, and the general public are familiar with the symptoms – diminishing levels of public confidence, dwindling audiences, commercialism, shrinking resources, and increasing negativity, sensationalism and soft news.
The situation is worsened as young sectors of the population reject the conventional media market, but with the explosion of alternative news sources over the internet, there is also a great potential for youth to gain clarity on issues that matter to them and to carve a space for their own voices. How today’s youths will shape the media is uncertain and yet youths represent the future of democracy.
The future of news media and democracy is threatened if youth apathy towards authoritative news sources is not addressed in a meaningful way and a way relevant to the tools, methods and concerns of the modern age.
Youth Media Initiative provides a platform to mentor aspiring media professionals and provide them with the intellectual and practical skills to understand journalism especially its fast changing environment. The traditional role of the news media in protecting society’s values and promoting civics education is being questioned by those who believe that journalists have contributed to the very forces that undermine journalism’s future.
The program targets young people who hope to make a career in journalism and other aspects of public policy and administration. Through collaboration with relevant industry professionals and institutions, we shall provide counseling services to participants. The expectation is that exposing these young people to traditional journalism practice will prevent a possible corrosion with current jaundiced journalism of recent times.
Effective January 2018, Nigerian youths (20-30) can enroll in the Youth Media Initiative, an innovative program to groom aspiring media professionals, promote civic engagement, fight corruption and facilitate development through the media.
Youth Media Initiative gives unique hands on experience mixing communication, journalism, photography, graphic arts, blogging, and social media as outlets for creative expression and nation-building.
Participants will dive into discussions about the news media and public policy priorities in contemporary Nigeria to understand the roles of youths as change agents.
The goals of the Youth Media Initiative are as follows:
- To raise future media professionals with the capacities, competencies and character to bring positive social change through the media.
- To help emerging media professionals accomplish professional goals and contribute to African socioeconomic development.
- To hone the skills of young and aspiring media professionals to become vanguards of ethical, investigative and peace journalism.
- To promote civic engagement, expose and fight corruption hindering development in Africa.
- To prepare young people on appropriate use of the media including social media.
- To stimulate interest among youth on national and international affairs.
- To nurture effective citizenship among young people – to utilize the Internet to challenge extremist views and cyber bullying.
- To reverse gains made by terrorist organizations in recruiting unsuspecting youth via social media platforms.
- To teach independent journalism that is clear, fair, truthful, and socially responsible.
- To learn story telling skills; editing skills for copy, photo, and video.
- To encourage young people to utilize their mobile devices as reporting tools to share information with potential for positive social change.
Who can apply?
Students of Journalism, Media Studies or Arts and Sciences?
Any Nigerian youth (20-30) interested in public affairs
Must either be enrolled in a tertiary institution in Nigeria or abroad, graduated from a tertiary institution in Nigeria or abroad but must have demonstrable passion for positive social change in Nigeria.
Timeline for YMI 2018 Cohort
Application Period: December – February 2018
Foundation Training: April 2018
Field Reporting Assignment (May 2018)
Performance Evaluation: June 2018
– Editorial Director YMI selects Best 25 performing participants
– Induction of YMI 2018 Cohort
July (2018): Structured grooming and mentoring of YMP 2018 Cohort begins. Part of the grooming will be the recruitment of performing members of the Cohort as regular reporters to our News Website: www.themiragenews.net