Building a robust structure where female reporters become more productive through mentorship was the focus during a one-day seminar held on Friday, 2 June 2023, themed ‘Fostering mentorship amongst female management staff/controllers of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and its female reporters’ in Abuja organised by Martha Asumata Agas, Principal Correspondent, News Agency of Nigeria. The seminar had 54 NAN staff (8 male, 46 female) from the North Central geo-political zone in attendance. The training was part of Agas’ activities under the Report Women! Female Reporters Leadership Programme (FRLP), Champion building edition of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalists (WSCIJ) with funding support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Buki Ponle, Managing Director, NAN; Sadiya Hamza, Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Head of the Judiciary Desk at NAN, and Hadiza Aliyu-Mohammed, Deputy Editor-in-Chief and NAN’s head of Health & Gender Desk joined Isaac Aregbesola, Senior Editor & Content Manager, NAN Website and Kayode Olaitan, Zonal Manager of NAN, Jos office as resource persons. In his opening remarks, Ponle commended the initiative. He said it would help the capacity building of female reporters and increase their grit to take more challenging assignments and leadership positions.
During her presentation titled ‘Fostering mentorship amongst female reporters in the newsroom’, Aliyu-Mohammed encouraged female reporters to embrace mentorship while mapping out goals and a realistic timeline and template. She reasoned that the strategy would help female reporters navigate the unique challenges of achieving a family and work-life balance. Similarly, Hamza charged participants with the need for improved determination and constant skills and knowledge updates to adopt modern trends in news report production during her session titled ‘Building the capacity of the female reporter in the discharge of her duties and for leadership positions’. On his part, Aregbesola taught participants ‘Skills that make reporters outstanding in their duties’.