Port Harcourt — A group known as Media Awareness and Justice Initiative, MAJI, has tasked journalists working in the Niger Delta to make use of data, while reporting issues like oil spills, gas flaring and other environmental issues in the region.
The group explained that technology and innovative analysis have made data an essential ingredient in reporting and authenticating news stories bothering on the environment.
Programme Officer of MAJI, Mr Ikechukwu Ahaka, disclosed this while speaking at a capacity building workshop training on using data participatory media tools for environmental reporting, organized by the group for newsmen.
Ahaka also said that the NGO has recruited and trained volunteers to monitor and collect data from oil communities during pollution incidents, under a project called Data Casting Biodiversity, which was funded by the French Embassy.
MAJI explained that the data would be analysed and presented to media practitioners to make their stories more comprehensive.
He also urged journalists in the region to utilize the database on oil spill incidents in the country, which he said has been packaged by the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA.
“Data has become the new oil and data has become so essential an ingredient in environmental reporting and we observed that the available data is not inserted in the reportage of Niger Delta environment.
“We put this session together to see how environment reports from the Niger Delta could be data driven, as data gives credibility and authenticity to stories because they are empirical.”