Advice for journalists planning to run NGOs
March 2017 Online #MediaCareerQ&A
For journalists thinking of running a Non Governmental Organisation, here are some useful advice for consideration.
Executive director at Cee-Hope Nigeria
I call it going the less-traveled road, ditching the age-long stance of neutrality and jumping into the ‘ditch’ with the people to fight oppression, right wrongs and or bring much-needed relief to the most vulnerable.
It’s to find where your passion lies and not just the ‘trending’ issues. As a journalist, you come in with a lot of asset– insight, writing skills, networking skills and loads and loads of contacts.
It’s fun, but you have to strive to create a niche, make genuine impacts. Be honest, passionate, and work your heart out.
Nothing good comes easy, so you must keep at it (e.g I have had two rejections this week alone). One’s Â act of love, of compassion means the world to someone somewhere, and journalism is all about public good, so basically, it’s mission-continued.
Executive Director, Media Concern for Women and Children
My token counsel – build yourself around your chosen niche. Become a thought leader… Start from where you are!
I remember when managing the Women Section in The Punch back then, I chose to be diffetent that invites began to come in from State governments and NGOs sought me to cover their events.
They all assumed I had a non profit organisation. I didn’t. Back then, I didn’t know NGOs existed. Be extraordinary. Find it, stay on it, become an expert on it, write about it.
With social media, so much more advantages. Start small, reach out, take opportunities around you, hold events… Position well.
Betty Abah, Executive director at Cee-Hope Nigeria
If, for instance, I hadn’t been Princess Olufemi-Kayode’s ‘little sister’, Cee-Hope Nigeria would not being where it is today. God has used her friendship to connect us and besides, her, encouragement, physical presence in our meetings, mentorship of our girls and substantial physical support have all made a world of diff.
My boss, Nnimmo Bassey (former employer) has added lots of gravitas to our work. Without him, Cee-Hope Nigeria wouldn’t have crossed many milestones and opportunities today. Networking, relatinoships matter. Don’t be an Island lest you dry up.
Lekan Otufodunrin , Governing Board Member, Journalists Against AIDS
Journalists who think NGO is about making money should start their own and still what it takes to run a successful one.
Like late Omololu Falobi Founder of Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS) will say, the Â funders can always see the dollar sign in your eyes.
Warees Solanke,Â Chief Strategy Officer/Head, Voice of Nigeria (VON) Training Centre
It’s easy to detect those who are into an NGO for the dollar. You are not in an advocacy before. You don’t have knowledge or experience in the field. You are shallow when asked for a discussion on your proposal. You don’t have a good reporting, accountability or evaluation plan.