The West Africa Bureau Chief of New York Times, Ms. Dionne Searcey, recently visited AUN, interacting with members of faculty, staff, and students.
The Senegal-based newspaper journalist whose beat includes Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, toured the university visiting places such as School of Law, the e-resource library, the New Foundation School, the Sustainability Office, and the cafeteria. She also visited the Atiku Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Development.
“They had a lot of unique ideas that I haven’t heard before about how to combat problems in the area”, she said of her experience.
During the February 7 meeting with the community, members had the opportunity to ask questions about the practice of journalism, her career and the challenge of news coverage around the world, especially in crisis-ridden regions.
Ms. Searcey said her editors are very conscious of the way she portrays Nigeria in her stories. She said being responsible is a great part of being a journalist, adding that she tries to portray the country as a diverse place and not to cover stories that are solely that of the Boko Haram crisis.
“I want to make sure I tell stories that are accurate.”
On the day before, she interacted with Communications & Multimedia students enrolled in intercultural communication class and told them that working for her school’s student newspaper was a platform on which she horned her reporting skills. “It was a safe place to make mistakes.”
She also advised the students on how they can emulate her in writing exciting stories. “It is important to explore other perspectives that you think is important when writing a story.”
Ms. Searcey would later remark that this interaction with students was her favorite part of her tour experience at the university.
A first-timer in Yola, she finds the mountains surrounding the town ‘a sight to behold’.
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa