Survey on the status of female reporters leadership in Nigerian newsrooms

The baseline survey was conducted to get a better grasp of the training gaps. There were 180 respondents (101 female and 79 male), who were all journalists from 85 media houses across 28 states. Most of the respondents had between 5 to 15 years of experience in the field.

The results from the baseline survey showed that the initiative is a needed intervention as the ratio of female to male in leadership positions is grossly skewed in favour of the male lot.

The summary result of this was shared with reporters at the training and a fuller version will be published shortly.

Training for reporters

A three-day training was held to develop the leadership and gender training capacities of reporters with resource persons of varying competencies on hand.

The first day of the programme concentrated on exploring the challenges participants were facing in the journalism profession. To open the floor, participants were asked to share their experiences as female journalists, and their views on leadership in the newsroom.

The second day further challenged the participants to work on themselves as change agents in their societies and in Nigeria as a whole.

The last day was tailored to prepare and polish participants for the core parts of the journalism industry.

Training topics included:

  • Principles of value driven leadership
  • Gender and mainstreaming in the newsroom (particularly the difference between sex and gender)
  • Solution journalism and why it matters
  • Developing competence and building confidence as journalists
  • Relevant laws and policies on girls and women rights
  • Creating effective/impactful content in a multi-media world – story ideas and strategy
  • Holistic security for female journalists
  • What to do differently in the newsroom
  • Newsroom leadership, media framing, agenda setting and why female participation matters
  • Leading editorial teams
  • Building diverse and gender sensitive sources and effective networking with others
  • Journalism and commerce
  • Inclusion and telling the girl/woman story with a gender lens
  • Storytelling: the science and art of impactful narration
  • Dealing with stereotypes
  • Effective interviewing
  • Public speaking
  • Delegation and work–life balance
  • Conflict and crises management in the newsroom

Several discussions were held throughout the sessions giving the participants the opportunity to discuss with their colleagues and share their personal experiences on various topics. Activities also included exercises such as looking through newspapers and highlighting gender inclusiveness, sharing confidence building words, reading news reports on women and girls to determine their accuracy, ice breakers on information and reporting, learning applications to align group activities and discussions on gender stereotypes.

There were multiple types of training materials including: videos, presentations, newspapers, printed news articles, reports and letters written on card board papers, sticky notes, jotters, flip charts.

Activities of the training were shared on social media especially Twitter using #ReportWomen and participants conferred online.

Evaluation and feedback was received from the 15 participants. The general feedback was that the training was successful and highly beneficial. Participants noted that they gained more insight on how to use gender lens while reporting, and be gender sensitive in their reporting.

Participants also commented that the training programme has bolstered their confidence levels and motivated them to take on leadership roles that would have a positive impact in reporting stories.

Share Fair

A share-fair was held on 20 October, 2017 to give the fellows an opportunity to share their progress and challenges on the leadership and story projects with their peers and mentors, while also receiving suggestions on probable solutions concurrently.

Leadership Projects

The first cohort of fellows carried out individual leadership projects based on the knowledge they gathered from the fellowship.

The projects, twenty-twoin number, ranged from training of prospective journalists to step-down training for practising journalists, from girl-child mentoringto sensitisation of youths on crime, and from women focused reporting to advocacy for gender parity in media leadership.

Story Projects

Twenty-four stories were published by the fourteen fellow, with professional guidance from the mentors.

The stories, which were largely women focused ran the gamut from trafficking of women to organ harvest, from school politics to national politics, and from women victimisation to a flourishing career


An award event to share the programme experience and appreciate the efforts of all stakeholders including the mentors and the fellows was held on 24 November, 2017.

At the event, certificates were presented to the fourteen fellows and prizes given to the best three based on specific criteria decided by the mentors.