Nestlé Nigeria and the Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre collaborated to host a 4-day workshop to advance the understanding and inclusion of sustainable development concerns in media coverage for journalists in Nigeria.
Facilitated by LBS faculty, Nestlé Nigeria resource persons and health and nutrition experts, the 4-day workshop engaged and empowered media personnel with the knowledge of Creating Shared Value (CSV), Nutrition Health and Wellness (NHW), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), sustainability, climate change, and food sufficiency, particularly in the Nigerian and African context. The sessions which took place from Tuesday, April 9 2019, to Friday, April 13, 2019, highlighted Creating Shared Value (CSV) as a sustainability advancement approach. It also focused on Nutrition, Health and Wellness (NHW) and their importance to the Nigerian media.
Sustainable development issues such as nutrition, food security, health, and wellness affect everyone in society. Since the media has the responsibility of educating the public, it is important that they understand these issues and are equipped to communicate the same to various stakeholders and demographic groups.
Participants gained an understanding of how to integrate Nutrition, Health and Wellness (NHW) in media narratives and national discourse. The expected outcome is to enhance their ability to interpret and report stories with proper priority for Nutrition, Health, and Wellness (NHW). This, in turn, will provide individuals and families with the information needed to make the best nutrition choices for their needs.
LBS alumnus and pioneer Professor of Food Science and Technology, Bells University of Technology, Olugbenga Ogunmoyela used several case studies to explain journalism and the health of a nation. Explaining the concept of context in NHW reportage, Professor Ogunmoyela listed some examples of contextual controversies that are often perpetuated by the media. They include but are not limited to ‘Obesity, hypertension and diabetes are diseases of affluence’, ‘Eggs and meat are bad for you after 40’, ‘The polio vaccine should be avoided because it kills’, ‘Diet and exercise are the panaceas for longevity’. He advised the journalists to humanise health coverage by making it about people, adding that they should work in a context where they can influence food choices when reporting NHW.
Closing the programme, Managing Director, Nestlé Nigeria, Mr Mauricio Alarcon said, “No single company or institution can make a difference. We all need to work together to achieve the SDGs set by the United Nations, hence our partnership with LBS, an institution that has the knowledge, the right skills and teams to contribute to making this happen.”
“We hope you can tell these stories and inspire change through your pens”, he added.
Speaking further on the partnership, LBS faculty and Academic Director of the workshop, Dr Ijeoma Nwagwu said, “LBS is extending its sense of responsibility to a broader audience beyond the business community because we have a strong ethos around responsibility. Running a programme that empowers a key sector like the media, to tell the truth accurately is something that represents the responsibility for which LBS stands.”
The participating journalists gave their feedback on the workshop describing it as a rare type that bridges a disconnect in their reportage. They were later presented with certificates of participation.
The Advancing Nutrition, Health and Wellness Through the Media workshop was supported by the Nigeria Union of Journalists.