Growing up, I was exposed to a variety of media, especially Television and Radio. The type of content we consumed in my family could be classified as value and entertainment driven. My family bonded over laughter and learning from screens and radio waves. So, if it made us laugh and learn, then it’s a worthy content. This early exposure sparked a curiosity in me about the content we consume, people who create them and how it shaped the minds of the consumers.
As an older teenager, I fell in love with radio. I would spend hours, every day, listening to my favourite shows and presenters. I loved the sense of connection that came with a presenter introducing a new song and relating with the audience. I particularly loved R&B and pop. It made me feel like I was part of a larger community of music lovers. I also loved how there was a song to pass any type of message. Listening to how the radio personalities spoke and analysed different topics, I knew I wanted to be that — to be a connoisseur of information.
A couple of years later, I was exposed to social media. I became active on Twitter, opened a Facebook account, started my blog, and began sharing my thoughts on lifestyle related topics and launched social advocacy campaigns. It didn’t take too long for me to see how much many people depended on my content to make certain life changing decisions in their personal life.
Just as it was for me and my family, I saw first-hand, the impact of content on people. I went on to start a podcast, had my own radio show, TV show, and produced content and the lines between new and traditional media soon became blurry to me. Falling in love and evolving in the media space comes with a sense of duty and responsibility.
That sense of duty has propelled me to learn the rules of the business. Soon I began leveraging my digital marketing knowledge and other skills in the media industry. But the thing is, media is in a constant state of evolution. So, I am always learning and sharpening my edges. My browser is filled with application links for programmes curated to upskill individuals in Media, Marketing & Communication. Beyond upskilling, media training has become a sense of duty and responsibility. To this end, I have participated in different media training programmes, but not all offer you a lot.
Last year, I was part of the pioneer cohort of MTN’s fully funded Media Innovation Programme (MTN-MIP 1) at the prestigious Pan Atlantic University’s School of Media and Communications.
This six-month fully funded certificate fellowship was an all-encompassing approach to media training. It painted a vivid picture of the relationship between creativity, management, and duty in becoming a successful media practitioner.
I interacted with some of the best media business owners within and outside Nigeria. The approach to class work and assessment was real-time scenarios as they happened in the media. There were open and honest discussions and sessions on the history of media in Nigeria and how media business gatekeepers have succeeded or failed to innovate and adapt technology for information dissemination and the importance of having a futuristic mindset.
MTN-MIP provides an in-depth understanding of the media landscape in the country with a focus on ethics and business decisions. The programme explores how to choose the right business model for the 21st century, carve the perfect content format for a target audience, create digital products, content marketing cheat codes, understand the lifespan of a digital product, and build and access funding to uphold the profession.
The training is also tailored to give media practitioners an overview of the ICT industry in Nigeria, how the business operates, its government interactions, relationships among competitors, and how it serves its consumers (customers). It exposes the link between innovation and economic growth.
Also worthy of mention is the study visit to the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and MTN’s innovation hub. I had the opportunity to interact with other media practitioners from different countries in Africa and to see how they are using technology to set agendas and reach more people. It was eye-opening to see how the problems on the continent are not so peculiar (You realise how alike we are and the importance of collaboration in creating solutions).
If you are like me, with an interest in shaping the future of and succeeding in the media industry, you should apply for this fully funded programme. The MTN Media Innovation Programme is open to media practitioners across print, electronic, online platforms, and social media content creators. By participating in the certificate programme, you are equipped with the required tools for understanding the ever-changing media landscape and empowered to become an agent of change in the media.