What Community {Campus} Journalists can learn from mobilizers

Home Campus Journalism in Nigeria What Community {Campus} Journalists can learn from mobilizers
Community and campus journalism in Nigeria and Africa, Factors that guarantee campus amd community Journalism suceess in Nigeria

While there are various perspectives with regards to who a community journalist{ism} is, what is common to all is that a community journalist is a ‘professional’ journalist who is focused on a neighbourhood, which can be a town, a suburb or a community like an academic environment in case of campus journalism.

The aim of community journalists is usually to cover news which affect an identified community. Where there is a coverage of a wider, national or international news, the focus is usually to relate this to how it affects the defined community.

Yes, people do say it is a form of public journalism but what is known to all is larger percentage of the activities is always on ‘serving and involving’ the local community.

In many cases, many community and campus journalists miss the focus of their trade because they lack adequate knowledge. A mere observation of community mobilizers’ attitude in their community can teach them many hidden truths. These truths can guarantee success and profitability. Without a proper understanding of who they are, community journalists will always miss the point.

To succeed  as a community or campus journalist, it is important to note  success will depend on proper understanding of  reality they cannot live without. They must understand community evolves and it has a process through which people function. To excel there are features they can pick from a community mobiliser. Mostly a mobilizer plans, works, engages and seeks community trust and support in changing issues th e community with sole purpose of improving the community’s well-being and personal values.

Reading through Alicia Bell and Mike Rispoil’s opinion, the following lessons can help.

Establish trust across the community: Trust is a big issue today. It is not a day’s job but it can be destroyed in a day. You cannot be successful until your community can trust you. This will demand listening, observation, engaging, maintaining   credibility in all your stories.

Search for under-reported stories: there are many stories others will overlook. Be the one who cares so much about the pain of the community by digging deep into such stories and report them. You should all be out to break the popular stories all the time, even though this may be great.

Be a voice of the voiceless: Of course when you do the above it will be easier for your news to be the one which gives power to the powerless within the community. You must do this with wisdom. There is a probability this may position your pieces against the powerful people within the community.

Ask questions, conduct surveys: You may not be able to do the above except you are willing to pay the price and be willing to dig deep and ask hard questions many will be running away from.

Collaborate if need be: We live in the age of collaboration. You must be willing to work with relevant allies. Many community mobilizers understand when a snake walks alone it is easier to kill it unlike when they move in group. There is need for annexing benefits in collaborative solutions and news reportage within the community.

Image credit: Cardiff.ac.uk


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