Covering Nigerian Elections

06 May 2014

Ameth Sokhna

The School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University won the Editors Lab—Vanguard Hackdays, our first winning team of students for this season of Editors Lab. They developed an election coverage tool called Verifi. Team members Temitope Falade, Keli Oliseh and Kehinde Haastrup will represent Nigeria at the Hackdays Final during the GEN Summit in Barcelona, 11-13 June. 

Two other teams also received a distinction: Television Continental, University of Lagos, and Channels Televisions received mentions from the jury.

Vanguard Newspapers' Editors-in-Chief, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye,  said, 'Let me say how delighted I am that this has happened in Nigeria, particularly at Vanguard. For me, what is most important is that we were able to bring all of you together to do what others are doing globally.' He added, 'I’m particularly happy about the performance of the team from the University of Lagos, because they are the trainers. I am happy that they have done well, so that when we send our staff to these schools they will get more knowledge.'

Other participating teams represented a variety of news platforms: Vanguard Newspapers, Daily Trust, Leadership, The Nation, The Nigerian Tribune, TELL magazine, The News, The Sun and Cool FM.

SMC Hackaton Team

Temitope Falade, of the winning Pan-Atlantic Univeristy team, said, 'Honestly, I’m excited and impressed because at the School of Media and Communication, we do a lot of hands-on training on digital media.'

'Coming to this kind of competition has actually shown the level of commitment on the part of the school in developing new ways of communicating. So it’s a good feedback and very important to us.'

Falade explained how Verifi works: 'Our application aims to ensure that there is participation from the citizens, INEC and government officials before, during and after the election. There is also a way to verify the genuineness of the information that will be shared on the platform.'



When announcing the winners, Mr. Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Communications & Public Affairs Manager for Google in West Africa, advocated for more cooperation among Nigerian media: 'This must not just end here. We will look at a situation where all the applications developed will be brought on an independent platform [...] If we can have a minimum of 50 percent of the media houses in Nigeria supporting this application and are part of the team working for its development and success, then we can be rest assured that every nook and cranny of Nigeria will be reached.”

The participants were optimistic that the tools they developed at the Editors Lab—Vanguard Hackdays will bring about a paradigm shift in the way the media will cover the 2015 elections, and encourage better accountability.


See also:

All the details from the Editors Lab—Vanguard Hackdays

Our first ever double Hackdays in Dublin & Glasgow organised with BBC #newsHACK