Nigerian journalist Sylvia Nzurumike has capitalized – literally – on the NPF fellowship that brought her to South Africa last summer to learn about reporting on HIV/AIDS. One of 55 journalists in our J2J HIV/AIDS Media Training, held in conjunction with the 5th IAS Conference on Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, Sylvia used her fellowship as the starting point for a journey that would include training dozens of other journalists, and creation of a radio program about prevention and treatment of the virus, which kills 170,000 in Nigeria each year.
Sylvia’s journey began days after returning from Cape Town to her home state of Anambra in southeastern Nigeria. Like the rest of the Cape Town fellows, we encouraged her to share what she’d learned by organizing a training session for local journalists on the topic of HIV/AIDS.
Sylvia, the executive director of a media-based NGO, PEM-NET, went on to lead two training sessions with more than 20 journalists, inspiring a ‘second generation’ of newsroom leaders. “We worked collectively to organize similar trainings for other media workers,” explained Sylvia, whose first training group included 10 journalists. An NPF micro-grant helped cover her time and training expenses. The program, known as Train-the-Trainer, is a new one for NPF. This year, participants gave half-day or full-day AIDS training sessions to a total of 90 additional journalists.
Reports from Sylvia’s training were submitted to the Anambra State AIDS Control Agency as part of a larger proposal. While reviewing the proposal, the agency offered PEM-NET a small grant for the production of a radio commentary show and the
printing of informational booklets on HIV/AIDS. In the past month, 4 radio commentaries have aired on 2 radio stations. They were broadcast 6 times per day in English and local languages. Sylvia joked in an e-mail, “If we had enough funds, we would have added jingles and talk shows.”
Through her work, Sylvia helped create a new opportunity for local health journalists, and expanded the number of ways people in her community can learn how to protect themselves.
“It was the knowledge from J2J training that helped,” she wrote in an e-mail.
NPF’s goal is to make journalists better. Sylvia’s story is one of the ways we know we’re succeeding.
Earlier Blog Posts
Freelance Reporter or Corporate Shill?
March 31, 2010
It’s All in the Headline
March 18, 2010
See photos from 27th Annual Awards Dinner
March 16, 2010
“State of the Media” report is Out
March 15, 2010
One-Man Bands Will Be Heard
March 8, 2010