Testimonials from the 11 recipient media professionals, 18 months after NAILA: “I learnt more in 18 months than in 10 years”

Testimonials from the 11 recipient media professionals, 18 months after NAILA: “I learnt more in 18 months than in 10 years”

April 24, 2019

After 18 months, the New Online News Stakeholders in Africa (NAILA) has come to an end. The various stakeholders involved in the project arranged to meet in Dakar on 14 and 15 April 2019 to celebrate the end of the project.

This programme, launched by CFI, the French media cooperation agency, has further improved the abilities and professionalism of the eleven recipient online media professionals based in French-speaking Africa.
(Article originally published by Togo Top News)

Brillant Rondouba, Editor-in-Chief, Tchad Infos

For me, personally, Naila provided the finishing touch that I needed for my theoretical and practical journalism skills and, in particular, for the online press. The trainers were really on the ball and I now see online journalism differently. For example, now I would never write an article without any hyperlinks. Thanks to Naila, the editorial aspect of the writing at Tchadinfos is now much improved. The knowledge gained from the different training sessions allowed all of the journalists to take advantage of tools to improve their performance.

Manzo Ibrahima, Director, Air Infos

Firstly, I have to say that Naila has given us incredible added value; in other words, the Naila training has confirmed to us that the media of the future, the journalism of the future is no longer in print, as they say, nor is it the good old radio, rather it's online. Honestly, with NAILA we learnt that in order to survive, to resist, it's important to get with the times, meaning that it is vital to be online. With all of the training sessions that we had with Naila, whether on Web writing or marketing...
We took a big step forward. Since that training, I can say that by being a multi-platform media operator (radio, written press, Website, Facebook page and Twitter account) we have increased our level of penetration on the market both in Niger and abroad. People are trusting us more and more because they know that with a single announcement on the radio, the same information is being broadcast internationally through the Website. Secondly, as a journalist, it allowed me to network, to meet colleagues and talented people, to compare our knowledge against that of the others, to learn from others and to teach others what we know; Naila genuinely provided us with a crucible for bringing knowledge together. Hats off to this Naila initiative by CFI.

Aboubacar Camara, Editor-in-Chief, Presenter and website at Kunafoni

The Naila project has brought more professionalism, production and innovative initiatives to our writing because we're thinking differently. Since the project started, we've been handling things differently and informing ourselves differently. Personally, I gained a great deal of knowledge and experience during those 18 months, which can be seen in our JT Rappé (Rapped News) and Débat Rappé (Rapped Debate) productions.
The News, for example, is becoming increasingly polished and professional. We would truly like to thank the entire Naila team.

Atha Assan, Editor-in-Chief at Togotopnews

For Togotopnews, the Naila project from CIF was a kairos – an excellent opportunity. Thanks to NAILA and its various training sessions, we've improved the content of the Website, making the writing more suited to the Web. The Naila project helped us to understand how the Web functions and, for that purpose, which input to use to be well referenced.
Now, we can no longer place an article online without including at least two hyperlinks (internal and external). We're far more active on social networks, especially on Facebook. The thing that really revitalised us was the arrival of the CFI expert, Eric Lebraz, at the Togotopnews offices in Lomé to provide direct coaching. This gave us an opportunity to learn much more concerning “listicles", “drop ins", “recaps", “portraits", handling stories, etc.
Thanks to the advice received from CFI trainers, Toptogonews has redesigned its logo, decreased the dimensions of its “front page" and repositioned the ads. Accompanying photos now have captions and credits and article titles are shorter.

Anderson Diédri, Editor-in-Chief, Eburnie Today

The Naila project is great insofar as it has made it possible to give greater visibility to our young media professionals, to guide them and to offer them a platform and an opportunity to take a structured view of their existence and their sustainability. The various training sessions allowed us to improve our skills, particularly in relation to improving our content, especially concerning the digital aspects that are currently booming but regarding which our skills were limited.
I was particularly struck by the session on investigative journalism, which enabled me to adopt a “scientific" working method and to raise my quality standards for article production, and the data journalism, which I found fascinating as it laid the foundations and allowed me to dive right into the digital age that now looks to be the future of the journalism of tomorrow. This allows us to better prepare ourselves for performing research online, conducting investigations using technological and digital tools and also for being actively involved in combating fake news through fact checking.
I learnt more in 18 months than in 10 years.

Augustin Fodou, Editor-in-Chief at Sahelien.com

Globally, there has been an improvement in content (written and video). With the new formats (horizontal and vertical) on Facebook, our videos are getting plenty of views and comments and are sometimes shared. Currently, our record view number is 356,000, but there are other videos that have been viewed 50,000, 100,000 and 200,000 times. We have also started to develop videos on mobile devices. We have defined our missions, visions, values and the editorial charter. Personally, I learnt a little more about online media management.

Jean Hubert, Editor, Habari

Naila has allowed the editorial team at Habari to handle information with a little more journalistic rigour, in particular with regard to the accuracy of facts, the credibility of sources, etc. I can say that we've become much more professional than previously. Thanks to the coaching provided by Naila, Habari has also been able to produce its first investigative article in partnership with Tchad infos. For me, personally, Naila has been a wonderful experience that has greatly enriched my career as a journalist and a blogger. I'm very grateful to CFI and I would like to thank the entire CFI team.
I was struck by many things at the Naila training sessions. Firstly, the quality of the training modules. Though I already knew certain things, Naila taught me something new each time. In addition, Naila also provided an opportunity to meet some very nice people: Anne Sophie, Eric Le Braz, Sabine, Ache…
I'm not forgetting any of the African media colleagues from this Naila project. They were unforgettable moments. In short, I would like to say well done to CIF and well done to the 11 Naila media professionals.

Will Cleas Nlemvo, Journalist and Editing Secretary at actualite.cd

Personally, I followed the editorial content management training in Dakar and Abidjan. That enabled us to improve our style and our approach to covering news topics. But we are also now finally able to better reference our content on different search engines.
The quality of the materials learnt has helped us to improve many things.

Mamadou Bella Diallo, Editor-in-Chief at Guinée Décalée

For me, Naila gave me a lot of ideas about my career as a young journalist. Firstly, all of the subjects covered during the training, specifically online investigation and techniques for increasing media visibility through social networks have revolutionised my work. In addition, it has made me more professional in how I process and disseminate information.
My articles on the Website guineedecalee.com are a testament to that.
The thing that had the greatest effect on me during the Naila sessions was the practical work on site at the end of each training module.

Philomène Djussi, Journalist at Africa Circle TV

I took part in the Naila training sessions on an introduction to online investigation and data journalism. As a journalist, I found this training to be an excellent opportunity to look at my approach to covering subjects. These days, social networks and the internet in general have shook up practices for the collection, processing and dissemination of information. With everything that is said and done online, it's possible to feel lost. However, there are numerous opportunities to seize upon. In relation to investigation, there are tools. Furthermore, they're free.
Thanks to Naila, I have a better idea of how to do journalism differently; I just need to give myself the means to take advantage of all this knowledge.

Olivier Ribouis, Director of Publication at Banouto

Naila has given us a lot. Banouto has grown a great deal with the implementation of the recommendations received during the training. Our audience has doubled. Our reputation is impressive. Our editorial and media content has improved to an extent unimaginable two years ago; in eighteen months, we have broken into the top 50 Websites visited in Benin with all trends combined, according to the Alexa rankings.
In particular, as a journalist, I've gained a lot of skills. From a complete novice at filming, I've become a specialist; we learnt techniques for reports, investigation and portraits. Several other professional skills have been learned or strengthened thanks to this project.

This article was originally published by Togo Top News.