Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Nigeria: Giving Citizens in the Niger Delta a Voice on Health Issues


Knight International Health Journalism Fellow Babatunde Akpeji has begun a year-long fellowship through ICFJ to improve both the quantity and quality of health reporting in Nigeria.

Babatunde Akpeji is a Knight International Journalism Fellow who is building a network of citizen journalists to cover health in Nigeria’s Delta region, an area rich in resources but wracked by severe poverty. The citizen journalists use mobile phones to send information to media organizations in Lagos and Abuja, ensuring better coverage of health problems related to poverty and environmental concerns.

Through this program, major media organizations will greatly expand the amount of information they bring to the public about the Niger Delta, and marginalized communities will gain a voice in the media.

During his fellowship, Babatunde also mentors health journalists in the Nigerian capital Abuja. These include journalists at Daily Trust, the most prominent newspaper in Northern Nigeria, where a previous Knight Fellow, Sunday Dare, established a weekly health section.

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Blogs

  • Aug 142013

    Citizen Journalism Gives the People of the Niger Delta a Voice

    Somewhere far from the capital city, far from most newsrooms, and, for that matter, most news consumers, a dilapidated hospital stops functioning. Maybe it happened because the faltering power system failed, or maybe the unpaid staff members finally quit. Either way, the result is the same: people in a remote place just lost their access to healthcare.

    In the city, people start noticing when the lines at the local health facility grow longer with people from the countryside who have come because they have nowhere to go for treatment back home.