Professionalism: Russia’s Sputnik trains young African journalists

Russian News Agency, Sputnik, has trained 15 journalists from some African countries including Nigeria in furtherance of it’s commitment to promoting professionalism.

 The training is part of Sputnik’s Pro Educational Project for young journalists. 

The training is coming as part of Sputnik’s moves to establish a new operation hub in Africa and to strengthen cooperation with the continent.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training which is holding in Moscow from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21 aims at creating a platform for journalists to share their experiences and challenges as well as discuss ways to overcome them.

In an interview with NAN, Sputnik’s Director of International Cooperation, Vasily Pushkov said that journalists and media operations world-wide were faces similar problems, hence Sputnik’s initiative to create a common platform where such problems could be discussed.

According to Pushkov, more than 90 journalists from many countries have benefitted from the Sputnik Pro News Generation Programme for young journalists.

He added that the training is helping to make them better professionals.

“Our project, Sputnik Pro, is a programme that we launched many years ago specifically for young journalists and foreign students looking to become journalists.

“The idea is that the problem that the journalist in Russia is facing is completely the same for each and every country in the world; for each and every journalist in the world.

“So, the idea was – why not establish a system of mutual experience exchange, discussion platform for journalists from different countries – to create a united front towards solving those problems. 

“So far, we have had participants from 90 countries over the years,” Pushkov said.

He said that the training would be a mutually beneficial 21st century kind of cooperation as Russia “looks to strengthen cooperation with Africa across various sectors.

“It will be mutually beneficial because that is the only way such cooperation can work in this 21st century,” Pushkov said.

On Strengthening Media cooperation with Africa, the director pointed out that establishing an operational hub in Africa is, for Sputnik, a development in the right direction as it will enable the agency to get first-hand news directly from Africa and vice versa.

“Right now, we are in talks with our colleagues in Ethiopia about creating our new editorial office in Addis Ababa which basically will be our new central operations (area) for the region.

“We will be employing correspondents in order to, first of all, bring more news about the continent, about the region for our Russian audience as well as our world-wide audience. 

“This is the start of relaunching the programme after two years because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

“We had a dedicated Sputnik programme for Africa before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pushkov added.

Ms Ekatrina Torubarova, Head of Department for Public Diplomacy at Rossotrudnichestvo, the financial partner in the training, said the programme was organised to enhance professionalism among journalists globally.

“This programme is being operated under the Presidential Decree according to the News Generation Programme.

“It provides a unique opportunity to enhance professional growth. We have been running this programme since 2015 with Sputnik, and we hope that you will leave enhanced.

“We also hope that you will fall in love with Moscow, Russia, and become great friends of Russia,” Torubarova said.

NAN reports that the participating African journalists were trained in short Master classes on Photography in the modern media, writing skills in a news agency, and practice-based media game, among other things. (NAN)

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