An exclusive interview Ann Godwin, price winner Professor Wole Soyinka center award for investigative journalism speaks to TRUMPET INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE
Trumpet: Congratulations for winning Wole Soyinka center for investigative journalism award
Trumpet: kindly introduce yourself
Ann: I am Ann Godwin, The Rivers State Correspondent of The Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria and the Executive Director of Step-Up Media Network.
Trumpet:what does this award mean to you
Ann: Yes, emerging the first prize winner of Wole Soyinka leadership award means alot to me, i will say, it’s quite thrilling and amazing but it actually didn’t come with ease, i worked for it.
You see, in life you pay the ‘Price’ to obtain the ‘Prize’. The Female Reporters Leadership Programme (FRLP) training was very impactful , it served as a total rebirth to my career journey and improved my capacities as a female journalist . However, the field work, that is; the period of transferring what we have learnt to others was quite rigorous and challenging but i wasn’t deterred, rather, my passion for the journalism practice grew perhaps , because i was determined, focused, persistent, I developed the ‘I can do spirit’ and gave my vision alot of pushing.
In August 29, 2021 , the Step up media Newtork(SMN). My pet project was birthed with a guide of my career mentor, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin. SMN is a network community of vibrant ,determined female journalists who are eager to change the narratives in newsroom reporting, excellence in leadership and other facets of life as well as using our various platforms to advocate an end to issues of Sexual and Gender Base Violence (SGBV).
We have over 40 members in our platform, some are based in Lagos, Edo, Akwaibom, Imo and Rivers States ; Among them are; PhD holders, several Masters Degree among others. The network has provided various trainings, job opportunities for members and we support each other to grow in journalism career . We also do career counselling . Progressively, the Network has built aggressive army of female journalists with outstanding results. Within the period my investigative report on on ‘How logistics , security Agencies Frustrate Justice for Survivors of SGBV’ on helped to secure the release of a poor woman, Mrs Ifeoma Ganago from police custody.
Trumpet:You are a pride to journalism, any word of advice to aspiring journalist.
Ann: Now my words for early career media enthusiasts.
In planning your success in life, do not limit yourself , keep improving in your professional journey by attending trainings, workshops, professional seminars and maintaining good relationship/networking with serious minded colleagues. There is so much in you that you need to explore.
SOME QUALITIES YOU NEED.
- Be Intentional: Be firm, unwavering for the professional journey.Know what you want, get engrossed about it and give it great pushing.
- Discipline: Have a controlled behaviour, Be orderly. Journalism is a noble profession.
- Be Deliberate: Be carefully coordinated, Do not be so much in a hurry. There is always a time to evaluate yourself to drop off certain acts and step up your career game . We live in a time of constant change, so you need to constantly step up , you need to learn additional skills . if you are not learning, you are dying in instalment. Read books, get career mentors. Zig Ziglgar said, Success occurs when opportunities meet with preparedness.
- Attentive: Learn to pay attention, observe, be a good listener. Avoid too much talks and noise.
- Develop the “I can do” spirit. Tell yourself, I can. There are so much abilities in you, You are powerful , see yourself beyond where you are, believe in yourself and engage in things that will keep you moving on.
- Tolerant: Have a good understanding with people, relate well with others, be accommodative.
- Neutral: Do not take side in your reports.
- Unbiased: Avoid prejudice or preference
- Original: Be very keen of the content under your by-line. Don’t copy and paste.
- Be truthful: State the facts,the truth, don’t fabricate to attract attention.
- Dress well for every occasion/ event.
Trumpet:Thank you madam