US mission, Adamawa journalists parley, explore areas of interests

Group photo of participants of the parley which took place at Green City hotel on Wednesday.
Group photo of participants of the parley which took place at Green City hotel on Wednesday.
US mission, Adamawa journalists parley, explore areas of interests

The United States mission in Nigeria has organized a parley with selected Adamawa based journalists on the various opportunities available to be explored for career progression and self enhancement.

During the interactive meeting, US mission officials harped on the need for journalists to inform the larger society about the various opportunities available for Nigerians in the United States including scholarships, exchanges, and trainings in career development and progression.

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Speaking on how to explore these opportunities, Grace Lamon, the exchange coordinator, told the journalists that most of the information about these opportunities can be obtained on the mission’s website. She urged the journalists to inform the larger populace to visit the mission’s website regularly as it is a repository of serious information.

She noted that US and Nigeria have over 25 exchanges, adding that every year, about 100 persons get the opportunity to visit the United States on such exchanges.

Lamon noted that it is important to discuss about the exchange in details because information about it is not available on the website adding that the International Visitors and Leadership Program (IVLP) is strictly by nomination.

“We don’t advertise the IVLP on our website. The IVLP is strictly by nomination. We monitor some of the activities you do and the impact it creates in the society and based on that one can be nominated,” she said.

She urged journalists to work hard for them to be nominated for the exchange because there stand to benefit from a number of opportunities in the areas of investigative journalism, writing, issues that have to do with women especially gender based violence, social media and many more.

Lamon added that through such opportunities, journalists can meet with their counterparts in Africa and the rest of the world at regional and global forums. She noted that the exchange program is a three week event whose expenses is fully paid by the US government.

She also said that the US mission will soon establish an American space at American University of Nigeria (AUN) Yola where residents can benefit from a lot of resources, training and career development.

Also speaking, Joseph Adah, strategic content coordination specialist, US mission in Nigeria urged the journalists to take advantage of the mission’s website and the number of social media handles to get genuine information about activities and opportunities available in United States.

“There is a lot of fake news misinformation and disinformation. Always check our website it is updated every day. Also use it to verify names of top level officials,” he said.

He noted that there is sufficient information on regular issues like visa requests, scholarships and education in general on the website.

Adah specifically urged journalists to invest heavily in the new media because the new media has come to stay noting that journalists can only avoid them at their peril. He specifically urged them to capitalize on the reach of the X platform to connect to as many audience as possible adding that the Nigerian media houses have serious stake in Twitter because of the massive following they enjoyed.

He also harped on the journalists to also invest in Artificial intelligence (AI) as it has become a major force in information dissemination and has since its coming revolutionized the media space.

Also speaking, Shade Adebayo, country education specialists noted that the US has been seriously investing in education adding that no fewer than 50,000 students apply for US scholarships every year.

She noted that these scholarships are given based on merit especially to brilliant children who do not have the opportunities for higher education.

She added that there are over 17,000 Nigerians currently studying in the United States adding that the EducationUSA is advising more than 80,000 prospective students annually. She also disclosed that the students process about $30 million aimed at helping bright underserved students.

One of the attendants Jamilu Yusuf who also benefitted from a grant by the US mission expressed optimism with the level of assistance the US is giving to Nigerians and also urged journalists to be more proactive and open up to those opportunities to better themselves.

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