ADH Community Journalism Fellowship: 2022 in Review

Earlier in the year, we launched the Africa Data Hub Community Journalism Fellowship (ACJF) programme with a specific focus on Equitable Economic Recovery, Health, Gender and Climate Change. As the year 2022 ends, we examine the impact of our work.


Why Community Journalism Fellowship? For context, too many local communities are significantly underrepresented and lacking in public services. Their voices are usually not considered in decisions that affect them. The journalists who should escalate or heighten these challenges, often lack sufficient resources to do so. The resultant impact is that abysmal public service delivery goes unchecked and responsible parties are not held to account.

So we designed the programme to equip these journalists with the resources, support and opportunity to create accurate, powerful stories backed by rich data and engaging visualisations. We also wanted them to flourish as a network of solution agents, collaborating in spotlighting developmental issues in their communities through investigation and evidence reporting. We are glad that we are gradually on the way to achieving some of our preset goals.


This year has only reinforced the importance of this mission. The fellowship has played a vital role in connecting journalists and newsrooms to trustworthy data and assistance. Despite facing challenges, we have dedicated ourselves to this mission and have accomplished the following;


Impact numbers:


 – Launched three (3) fellowship cohorts
 – Received a total of 253 applications for the fellowship
 – Trained, mentored and connected 24 fellows to our ADH journalism network
 – Stories published covered 38 underserved communities
 – Amplified issues directly affecting 1,577,747 persons in select local communities across Nigeria
 – Produced 32 evidence-backed investigative stories
 – Developed 14 mini-documentaries
 – Created and published 156 infographics
 – Multiple news platforms republished our fellow’s stories. We tracked 85 of them.
 – Our stories were published and discussed on multiple radio stations with over 3.5 million listeners.
 – The fellowship received over 125 media mentions, reaching an audience of over 13 million.
 – Documentaries published on Facebook and Youtube received over 58,000 and 35,000 views.


Some of our remarkable moments;


Hospitals of Horror: Despite funds, Ogun health centres are in shambles, as women go through agony, and pain to give birth

 story and mini-documentary published by Sodiq Ojuroungbe, one of our fellows, delved into the inadequate health infrastructure in Ogun State that resulted in the death of a pregnant woman who had to travel long distances for proper healthcare. The video has received over 14,000 views on YouTube and more than 20,000 on Facebook to date. 

Importantly, the story not only received attention from other newsrooms but also caught the attention of the Commissioner of Health for Ogun State, who requested a follow-up meeting and commenced a tour of the reported community facilities. This comprehensive piece, backed by evidence and data, demonstrates the potential of data journalism to not only amplify pressing issues to stakeholders but to hold power to account while attracting the attention of local decision-makers.


The untold story of Nigeria’s oil-producing communities battling poor health systems

This is a story by our fellow Adesola Ikulajolu. Following this publication and mini-documentary created from the findings of how primary health centres in some communities of Ilaje, Ondo State are lacking equipment, a shortage of staff with some of the facilities under lock, the Director of the Ministry of Health reached out for more details and promised to launch an investigation into the issue including address all erring staff. The Permanent secretary queried the Health Coordinator in ILAJE who revealed that one of the PHCs in Ilowo community is under the control of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) and they are seeking to partner with them to access the facility. A few weeks after the publication, there was the donation of medical items to hospitals in Ilaje area of Ondo State. Also, some ad-hoc staff who received warning queries from the ministry reached out to the reporter to issue threats via text messages and calls because he exposed the ills in their Primary Health Centers (PHCs). It is an indication that the ministry of health took steps to address the issues revealed. This story gained major attention as it was republished by 13 other news platforms. 

Going into 2023, we will continue to commit to this mission to enable independent media with more resources to report accurately; amplify the voices of underserved communities; drive more evidence-based investigations that holds power to account;  highlight issues preventing economic prosperity, and that which limits their participation. . We look forward to outcomes that will inform policy, improve stakeholders’ engagement.