Paper presented by Prof. Protus Nathan Uzorma  at the maiden summit of Imo State based media practitioners in collaboration with Promotions-Onion Communication LTD.


Technology has become an integral part of our lives permeating every aspect of our daily routines. From communication to entertainment, technology has revolutionized how we live and work. Technology has made the work easier across different disciplines, in the media particularly, it has made news gathering easier with the introduction of miniature sized gadgets that give quality sound delivery.

Permit me not to go into the conceptual definitions of the words and terms associated with this very topic, as I present to you the summary of my paper.

In today’s digital age, the internet has become an invaluable tool for accessing information and resources. However, one ought to be weary of mischief makers who put unverified and false information online. Such ploys behoove the media practitioner to train himself to know and identify such false contents. For this reason, a former Director General of the National Television Authority, NTA, Vincent Maduka, opined that “Nigerian media desires more education, intellect and skills to deal with issues. TV especially, is preoccupied with superficial sows, while radio which has grassroots credibility, are mostly urban directed.”

Training of media practitioners be he a journalist, broadcaster, public relations practitioner, an advertiser or a new media practitioner, is germane in the mass communication industry. With the emergence of the new media came an increased pressure on the old media to deliver, a situation which has seen an increase in the spread of fake news and hate speech (the issue of hate speech and fake news is a subject of discourse for another day).

Katie Chapman (20014:2) notes that while demands for more journalistic reportage are increasing, the amount of training being offered to reporters is not keeping pace with the continually evolving environment they are working in.

  Countries which have training systems in operation, have adopted different approaches. In some, the accent is on technical craftmanship learnt on the job, others place emphasis on academic training aimed at raising the general educational level of the acquirer. However, a third group favoured a mixture of the two systems according to local tradition and preference. (UNESCO 1958:2)

Training is an essential component in human capital development; it equips individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their jobs effectively.

In trying to define training, one can say that training can be defined as a structured learning process in which a trainer imparts specific knowledge or skill sets to a learner or learners to help them to achieve predetermined learning outcomes. It follows a linear approach where the trainer is an expert who transfers information to the participant (s). the world as we know it today is continuously evolving and no discipline wants to be left out in this global metamorphosis and diversification. (3).

In the media world, training of media practitioners, therefore, is an integral part of the practice as it provides the necessary skills, knowledge and tools to communicate effectively and efficiently. Journalists who receive training are better able to hone their craft while producing accurate, trustworthy and interesting content (4).

With technological advancement came the new media bringing in its wake, an increase in the demands of media audience thus, tasking on the journalist’s versatility and adaptability towards meeting those demands. The emergence of new media platforms such as social media, podcasts, blogs and online news outlets, the traditional media cannot but expand their online presence to stay relevant.

The Need to train media practitioners

Arising from a roundtable meeting on ‘Training for journalism’, in Paris, April 1956, organized by the UNESCO, a team of experts noted that the key to improving the quality of information, lies in ‘more thorough education and training of journalists in all media’; adding that ‘that training should be of a two-fold nature-technical (covering the techniques of the profession)  and general education to give the journalist ‘as much knowledge as possible concerning the subjects with which he deals’. Both aspects of journalistic training should be designed to develop the journalist’s sense of inquiry and devotion to the results of his inquiry; a responsible habit of fully investigating and reporting facts and events; and of separating news from opinion in conformity with the profession’s own highest standards. (UNESCO, 1958:11-12, 15-16)

The need for training of media practitioners cannot be over emphasized. Mainly because, training gives the media practitioner the knowledge and ability to delve into complicated topics and present them in a way that is easily understood by a larger audience.

Secondly, it fosters their sense of professionalism and ethics while enabling them to navigate the media landscape to develop a better understanding of how the media industry works while strategically positioning themselves in the market place through the promotion of their work.

To gather, present and interpret news by whatever medium, demands not only high tech skills, but also the ability to understand and make understandable to others, the swiftly changing and complex panorama of modern times.

While journalists and media practitioners have come to appreciate their role in helping society to make informed decisions and form opinions which guarantees a healthy national and international climate, it follows that the validity of opinions held by the public will largely depend on the knowledge, understanding and sense of responsibility of the information providers. (UNESCO 1958:11).

Media training, therefore helps aspiring journalists to develop their writing skills, reporting, interviewing and storytelling abilities. It teaches them how to conduct research and gather information from sources, how to draft a compelling story and how to present their work in a way that is informative, engaging yet effective.

           Role and Importance of technology in today’s media

Technology has made news gathering easier with the introduction of miniaturized gadgets that give high quality delivery.

In today’s digital age, the internet has become an invaluable tool for accessing information and resources with just a few clicks. One can find answers to almost any question or have access to a wealth of limitless materials, thus, reducing the stress of working; aiding rapid feedback mechanism essential for successful message delivery while enabling government in policy formulation. (www.the broadcast

This, therefore, means that with technology, media practitioners are continually learning to keep themselves abreast with latest innovations and trends.

Furthermore, technology teaches journalists how to conduct research, gather information from sources, craft compelling stories and present their work in a manner that is engaging, yet effective and informative.


To remain outstanding and carve a niche for himself in today’s digital media, a journalist ought to arm himself with some basic skill. What are these skills you may ask? They are not far fetched

·        Effective communication skill: a media practitioner’s role is primarily to gather and disseminate news either verbally or written. Most of the time, he conducts interviews, reports news and or writes news or articles / commentaries. It is therefore very important that he hones his communication skills by being friendly, empathetic and confident in his conduct and presentation of news/ information.

·        Attention to detail: in the course of carrying out his job, a journalist is faced with so many ‘sources’, for information some of who may not be as authentic as they claim. Let’s not forget in a hurry, the barrage of fake and unverified news largely spread by most new media platforms. As a journalist, it is important that he pays attention to every detail of news he gets to ascertain the accuracy of the information, this he can do through careful research of all facts given.

·        Research Skills: A journalist needs to, within the best of his ability, all details about a story using different available sources. He has to arm himself with the researching skills which will help him to know how to evaluate the information before presenting it to the public

·        Persistence: media organisations thrive on exclusivity (scoops) and journalists rely on sources for their information, however, sources may not always be willing to give out the information the journalist needs. He has to be more persistent by employing and improving on his human relationship skills in order to get the lead he seeks.

·        Digital literacy: a journalist must be willing to bring himself up-to-speed with use of technology. He has to be tech savvy. This means that he has to know how to navigate websites, applications (apps), social media, laptops, tablets and other gadgets needed for the job. He must be willing to learn, accept and adapt to technological change/s as the case may be, bearing in mind that using digital media to broadcast news is one of the best ways to reach a large group of people.

·        Ethical journalism skills: Regardless of the stiff competition from the new media, a journalist must always be mindful of the ethics of the profession and make conscious efforts to observe them at all times.

These are only but a few of the skills the journalist can use to get by in the face of the new media. While he is busy acquiring skills, let’s not negate the fact that there are some hurdles in the way of his journalistic practice.

From poor remuneration both in the private and public sectors, to lack of a conducive working environment, lack of funds to acquire latest gadgets needed to execute the job and make his job easier; lack of financial support to aid his training; government obnoxious policies and censorship of the media, organizational bureaucracy and red tapeism; the list is endless… in deed, many are the trials of the righteous…

While training is important, it is important for the journalist not to forget that every skill requires practice and practice, they say, makes perfect. Practice your skills as often as you can and possibly, find a mentor to guide you in weak areas, thus, making the job easier and your rise, meteoric. Cheers to a better media and a better-informed society.


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