By Amechi Obiakpu
After waiting for three years, the TMTR Training Room, a skills-based, practice-led certificate awarding institute openned its doors for the first time, to the first set of trainees on Saturday, February 10, 2018.
The trainees were a select journalists drawn from the print, broadcast and online platforms. Toni Kan, co-founder and faculty member of TMTR ,said the idea behind the institute is to arm practitioners in the creative industry with the right skills to enable them do their work effectively.
Kan, a journalist and PR expert believes that media practioners will do a lot better if they are armed with up-to-date training, especially with the 2019 general election fast approaching, and to avoid some of the pitfalls that come with practicing with inadequate information.
And, to him starting with media practioners is the best way to go, he told News Express.
“There are so many things we as journalists are not getting right in the profession that is why we feel the training will help us to get things right so, we can improve in doing what we love,“ he said.
Continuing he said, “We hope to train about 150 journalists for free before the general election, that is a target we have set for ourselves“.
The Delta State born noted that 30 journalists were scheduled for the training but, only 18 attended the first batch. That however did not deter the organisers as the training went ahead as planned and achieved its aim.
About N2 million was estimtated to have been spent in putting the training together. The amount News Express learnt covers: cost of materials, cost of bringing in the speakers and other expenses.
“My father is a teacher, bearing that in mind it behoves on me to create an avenue where practioners can learn- a place where we can all learn from each other. Which is what TMTR stands for,“ Tony Kan said.
He pointed that the training is not limited to media pratitioners as there are also other courses for other arm in the creative industry that are paid for.
The institute was conceived in January 2015 with the mission to evolve a teaching culture that will help train and empower practitioners who will change the creative industry for good by upholding the highest ethical and professional standards.
The inaugural training focused primarily on equipping the participants with tools and insights to better understand the Cybercrimes Prohibition Act 2015 and how it affects their practice especially with the imminent 2019 elections.
It also focused on the Fake News phenomenon that has taken the world by storm no thanks to the democratisation of access to the internet and the rise of social media.
The programme provided insights to the legal pitfalls bedevilling the modern day journalist working at a time when the internet has enabled the emergence and growth of citizen journalists.
Facilitators included Peter Okwoche of the BBC, award winning writer Kaine Agary who is also co- founder of Takkai as well as Toni Kan Onwordi.
TMTR is run by Toni Kan and Peju Akande.