Ekene is a development journalist, Tedx speaker, Media trainer, and tech enthusiast. He works with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, (Radio Nigeria), Coalcity 92.9 FM Enugu while volunteering for youth organizations like Young African Leaders Initiative(YALI) to champion tackle societal ills. He has a track record in development journalism with major impacts in fact-checking, ending female genital mutilation and girl child advocacy.
He is that media personality that is using the media as a tool to mediate, advocate and push for ideas and conversations. Over the years he has invested a lot of time in media development thereby helping a lot of journalists define their niche, build their brand and equip them with skills for the 21st Century media ecosystem.
Ekene’s published articles are in over 20 newspapers, online blogs and news sites and he was responsible for designing and implementing media programme plans to deliver the Enugu state government’s project goals on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2012 -2014. He currently blogs on Radio Nigeria Enugu Website under Lounge-360. Most of his works can be found here https://muckrack.com/ekeneodigwe
One of his most precious moments as a journalist will be in 2015 during the Nimbo farmers-herders clash in Uzouwani LGA of Enugu State, he witnessed how stories were purported, sensationalized, weaponized and used to instigate another set of civil unrest. Reporters and the political class used that to further their agenda because people were media illiterate and gullible.
To save a little town from the brink of destruction started by fake news and hate speech Ekene initiated a programme called “Situation report” at Radio Nigeria 96.7 Voice FM Nsukka which was his station at the time, the concept was beyond giving the people a voice to report and share things, it was an open practice to fact-check what they hear, see and report. He had a mantra: see something, verify something, say something; then he as the radio personality will do something.There was a dedicated line and it does not matter the time, just call.
They started engaging the authorities and sieving information received all around. That programme saved a lot of lives, cleared some misinformation and corrected misrepresentation and underrepresentation of issues. That was also the first time he was involved in Fact-checking in as much as he didn’t know the proper term for it then. He knew that the audience shouldn’t be fed with unverifiable news.
Presently, Ekene is rounding off a certification in Social Media in Public Relations from the National University of Singapore and holds an expert certification in Information Technology and Cyber Law from India, Digital footprint from the University of Edinburgh, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation from the University of Copenhagen.
The most recent project he was involved with was the Training of Southeast Journalists on Fact-checking and telling Impactful stories.
So as journalists the bulk of public enlightenment lies with them, but what happens if these journalists don’t know how much power they wield or are not equipped to utilize this power? Across the full spectrum of development issues, and the full range of communication, public engagement and media strategies, ill-founded rumours and misinformation are a major problem. Using COVID-19 as a very current example: How can journalists best respond? Which strategies could be adopted? Nigeria is a multi-diverse, religious and political country and with the advent of social media, news dissemination and the cycle has changed, everyone is a citizen journalist, all of these were part of why he decided since he can’t stop a moving train, he can at least lay a better track for it. Therefore, with the help of International Press Centre Lagos and funding from European Union, US Consulate Lagos and Radio Nigeria Enugu Zonal Station he was able to move around 5 southeast states and 6 cities training journalists. The impact of that training can be accessed here https://www.docdroid.net/w0VtxGp/pre-and-post-training-survey-on-fact-checking-in-journalism-1-pptx#?secret=5lbH1Ta9VJ
Ekene is the winner ofRadio Personality of the Year 2016, On-Air Personality of the year 2017 and YALI Leadership Award, 2018.
He enjoys listening to Chike’s song “Watching over me” and he is open to working with anyone on any project, even as a guest contributor.
DM him @Ekeneodigwe on all social media platform or WhatsApp +2348068437568