It is no lie that journalists, broadcasters at any level are catalysts of information and conversation building. This conversation enhances democracy and the wellbeing of the society at large. For next generation or early career journalists, it is important to know how to prioritize individuals’ safety while in the field. The common parlance here still stands firm “No story is worth your life. It is better to tell the story than to become the story”.

These and more are the points shared at the recently held “Freelance/Campus Journalism Safety Workshop organized for Association of Campus Journalists member of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife (OAU ACJ) on Saturday January 27, 2024 at Health Science Lecture Theatre A which served as the venue for the one-day event.

Welcome and opening address was done by the President of OAU, ACJ, Gbolahan Latinwon who expressed the association’s gratitude to the organizing team of Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals(AFYMP) as well as encouraged association members to place a premium on the knowledge to be shared. “As freelance, or campus journalists we must prioritise our own safety in the bid to effectively do our job. We face opposition and we must understand what to do per time” Latinwo said.

Yinka Olaito, Executive Director of AFYMP, who also served as lead facilitator of the programme told the audience, journalists at every level face different kinds of challenges and safety issues. Making the right choices and preventing possible unnecessary exposure should be a priority. “In the course of your daily action as freelance or campus journalists, you need to make choices with regards to how to stay alive before you can tel any story”- Yinka Olaito charged.

He further said that the issues of journalist safety is now important as journalists are often maimed, wounded or imprisoned while trying to do their

Journalists must understand safety begins from taking precautions’, ensuring s/he understands the terrain as well as making sure there are enough safety tools available in case the situation demands the use of one.

ACJ, OAU Exco

In addition, digital safety is also important today, Journalists should not be careless with their digital footprints and except where necessary, being night owl, where this is not essential may be dangerous. This is especially important for those who are involved in corruption and drug related as well as conflict zone reporting.

Some of the participants

The session which ran for about four hours had 40 ACJ members (18 males and 22 females) in attendance.

A member of the group, Oguntade Adedoyin remarked “Thank you very much for today’s workshop, I learnt a lot from the session”

Another participant, Adeoti could not hide her enthusiasm when she said:” “Thank you for this beautiful opportunity, it goes a long way in my professional journey

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