International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ended 5 Days Mobile Journalism Training with Volunteers and Journalists on telling Migration Stories Using Smartphones.

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Mobile Journalism Training
International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ended 5 Days Mobile Journalism Training with Volunteers and Journalists on telling Migration Stories Using Smartphones.

In its drive to generate momentum on awareness-raising about Irregular Migration, IOM has in the recent past organized series of training sessions for migrants and journalists, firstly in Bo (some weeks ago) and at Golden tulip Hotel.  At Golden Tulip, the session commenced on the 17th and ended on the 21st of May 2021. The participants included journalists chosen from various media houses. The Migrants were selected from the IOM/MaM program.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ended 5 Days Mobile Journalism Training with Volunteers and Journalists on telling Migration Stories Using Smartphones.

The objectives of both programs are to train migrants and journalists on how to report migration stories and more relevantly the use of smartphones to record perfect videos and as a means to promote mobile journalism. The overall program is designed to raise awareness on irregular migration. The smartphone, the training revealed is suitable and effective near replacement for the video camera. The video camera is logistically a challenge to move around, and its prohibitive cost and weight are such that it has become unavailable to most if not all media practitioners/journalists.


Sallu Kamuskay, Mobile Journalist at Salone Messenger with trainer Cedric Kalonji

IOM organized a five-day mobile journalism training workshop for journalists and volunteers who were victims of irregular migration on telling migrants stories using smartphones. The five days mobile journalism training was held at the Kimbima Hotel from the 17th to the 21 May 2021.  Over 15 volunteers and 5 journalists from different media houses attended the training.  During the introduction before the commencement of the training program, Mr.  Brima Bendu, the National focal person for IOM/Mam project welcomed the gathering and commented on the purpose of the event. He informed the attendees of that the training is geared towards empowering journalists and volunteers on not only how to report on migration but how to record and edit videos on migration and other stories.

The training of MaM volunteers (Migrant as Messengers) alongside journalists is a useful combination for dissemination of stories/information in a bid to raise awareness by providing appropriate information to young people with the tendency to Irregularly migrate thereby helping them make an informed decision on whether to embark or not to embark on irregular migration. Continuing he said: “We are working with the returnees amplifying their voices because they say, he who feels it, knows it, we feel the returnees can better explain, and express their stories to young people who may be tempted to take such a dangerous journey”.   He opined that the advent of the smartphone and its associated multimedia platforms have provided journalists and citizens the easiest way of passing information and communicating with nearly everyone on social media platforms. It is indeed a blessing in disguise.

As if to buttress the point the facilitator Mr. Kalonji stated that the smartphone is now a very essential tool for mobile journalism.  We are now ‘living in the digital world where an incident or event happening now can easily go viral and become a global news item within seconds and minutes.   We are, he maintained living in an era where information and what constitutes news is no longer the exclusive preserve of the traditionally established media houses. This he concluded is due to smartphones and the now very many social media platforms. Social media and the smartphone are great tools in raising awareness and information dissemination”.

Mr Cedric Kalonji during practical with Journalist and Mam Volunteer

 Today the smart phone is seemingly becoming an effective means and channel for the promotion and enhancement of “Mobile Journalism” and maybe, just maybe a replacement for the’ bulky Video Camera’’ especially when it comes to mobile journalism.

The facilitator, Mr. Cedric Kalonji, a seasoned media professional is an “Experienced Instructor with a demonstrated history of working in the online media industry. Skilled in Journalism, Media Skills Training, Social Media, News Writing, and Editing. Strong media and communication professional with a Master focused in “Journalisme from Ecole supérieure de journalisme de Lille…”- (Linked In).  A digital journalist since 2003, digital strategist and media training program manager, is a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Mr. Kalonji comes to Sierra leone with a vast baggage of experience in the media especially in radio journalism and had worked for Radio Okapi-the radio station of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC. His profession has seen him crisscross nearly half of sub-Saharan Africa imparting his knowledge to journalists and others for and on behalf of IOM. He has also contributed to several media capacity building programs and innovative projects in Europe and international organizations such as the European Union (EU), the International Organization of the Francophonie, several United Nations system agencies, NGOs, and international cooperation agencies.

As the training came to an end participant expressed appreciation and implored the trainer to make sure this should not be a one off.

‘All is well that ends well’. The training shall continue……








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