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3 questions to Chibuike Alagboso


3 questions to Chibuike Alagboso

Picture of Juliette Gerbais
Juliette Gerbais — Project Manager
April 23, 2024

The following Q&A session is part of the 17th edition of our monthly newsletter "Solutions, Explained". Subscribe below!

In this edition, we speak with Chibuike Alagboso, one of our grantees’ mentors.

Chibuike has a decade of experience in health communication and advocacy with a work history that spans the African continent and globally. He currently works as a Senior Programme Manager for Nigeria Health Watch, where he leads the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative among other responsibilities.

Chibuike Alagboso

1) Can you describe how you came across solutions journalism and how it has become a key element in your work now?

My first contact with solutions journalism was in Nairobi, Kenya in 2018 during a pre-conference workshop at the KEMRI conference organised by Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) and Science Africa. I had just joined my present organisation as a health journalist and the training helped me achieve my key deliverable of investigating and reporting responses to public health problems in Nigeria. In 2019, I participated in SJN’s inaugural LEDE fellowship where my activities contributed to spreading the practice in Nigeria. Since then, solutions journalism has become a core part of the advocacy and communication work that I do at Nigeria Health Watch because it’s a powerful tool for accountability. Beyond supporting other journalists and newsrooms in Nigeria to learn and integrate solutions journalism into their practice through the Africa initiative which I started leading in 2020, I still write solutions stories.

2) What valuable insights have you learned from working alongside our grantee The Ferret? Was this mentoring different from the mentoring you provide in your day-to-day work at Nigeria Health Watch? 

I loved that The Ferret collaborated with Greater Govanhill in their project to investigate and report on responses to health inequalities in Scotland, leveraging their strengths, and showing that doing meaningful and impactful work requires honest collaborations. While I was assigned to support them as a mentor, I also knew I could learn a lot from them so I entered the engagement with an open mind to learn from them as much as I shared my experiences. Learning all the strategies they used to drive their project in their community reinforced my belief that journalism can be a powerful tool for positive change.

The mentoring is not so much different from the mentoring I provide in my organisation through the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative we are implementing. It involves to a large extent, training and supporting newsrooms in Nigeria to integrate solutions-focused reporting in their workflow.

With The Ferret, I wasn’t involved in their training so this is one of the main differences. They were also quite knowledgeable about solutions journalism and keen to do it. Our engagement revolved mostly around sharing my perspectives on health inequalities which was the issue they were investigating. Also, my mentoring involved journalists and editors in some cases but with The Ferret, I was dealing with the leaders which is important if you want to sustain solutions journalism practice in a newsroom.

​3) What question do you wish more people would ask when discussing solutions journalism? 

Is solutions journalism advocacy? No, it is not and will never be advocacy. But it can empower and strengthen advocacy. Coming from a public health communications and advocacy background, I’ve seen that solutions journalism can be a powerful tool for driving accountability and advocating for social change. This is because rather than saying “500 women can be saved from post-partum haemorrhage by taking these steps,” (which is advocacy), you instead investigate who is already taking those steps, how they are doing it, get incontestable evidence that what they are doing is working and making a difference in people’s lives, find lessons others can take away if they want to replicate, and any challenges/limitations they are looking out for. You can then use this to start asking questions and demanding policy actions and change.

More about Chibuike’s work can be found here


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