Africa’s leading investigative newspaper- PREMIUM TIMES and the American University of Nigeria (AUN) have announced a partnership that is aimed at providing data-driven and evidence based analysis on contemporary developmental issues in Nigeria, the African continent and the world.
The initiative, which is tagged; “AUN-Premium Times Data Hub,” according to a statement jointly signed by the university’s president and the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Margee Ensign and Musikilu Mojeed respectively, will present and analyse data towards educating readers and guide them towards action and, “over time, guide the decisions of policymakers.”
“Democracy thrives when there is a well-informed and engaged citizenry. However, for a well-informed and engaged citizenry to emerge, they must have access to objective analyses based on unbiased data,” the statement said.
The Data Hub
The hub according to the statement is a unique collaboration between higher education and media to inject more data-driven analysis into the Nigerian civic space.
The purpose of this hub, the statement added, is to present data and analysis and a platform for discussion on every major sphere of development, including gender, poverty, education, health, economic growth and employment, governance and democracy, peace and security, and the role of technology.
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“On each platform, the best available data on Nigeria’s current status will be presented and analysed and solutions to specific problems will be proposed.
“It will connect scholars, journalists, policymakers, and students who are the problem-solvers of tomorrow. Those who care about equity, fairness, and development will visit the site for the data they need,” the statement further reads in part.
The outfits said they had observed three significant changes in today’s Nigeria, adding that the level of activity of the media user on the internet and social media through their mobile devices is unprecedented.
“The implication is that politicians and the professional media producers are now challenged by literally hundreds of millions of citizens who now can express their views to the public.
“While this is potentially an economic, social, and political good, it can equally be dangerous,” they said.
They also noted that the manipulation of public discourse through fake news, misinformation, and falsehoods is a global problem.
They added; “Second, journalism is changing – mostly in response to this unprecedentedly connected and active audience.
“The Premium Times is ahead of the curve in its response to the changing landscape of the media environment, and the increasing need to broaden the civic space to accommodate new and alternative voices.”
Lastly, the organisers further noted that higher education is changing “and students want to be more engaged with the big issues and questions that affect their future, and as Africa’s development university, AUN seeks to provide the knowledge that drives human development.”
“Its location in northeast Nigeria provides a unique looking glass with which to understand the complex intersections of climate change, development, and conflict.
“It is our mutual awareness of these changes that drives our determination to fuse our collective strengths into a force for the common good of our society,” the statement added.