Mass Resignation Hits BBC Hausa

Nine journalists from the BBC Hausa Service in Nigeria have resigned in the past month, a development that is “unprecedented” in the history of the international media outlet.

The journalists who resigned include two senior digital journalists, three social media journalists (two of whom were senior reporters), a senior bilingual reporter for Hausa/English Africa, a multimedia reporter, and two video journalists.

It has been reported that five of the journalists left in December, while the remaining four resigned on Monday to join the newly established Africa section of Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) in Istanbul.

“This is unprecedented in the history of BBC Hausa. Nine journalists of BBC Hausa have joined soon-to-be-launch TRT Hausa after the Turkish government decided to establish TRT Africa: Hausa, Swahili, French and English for Africa,” a source at the BBC mentioned.

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The source added that Nasidi Adamu Yahaya, who resigned as senior digital journalist, would head the Hausa service at TRT.
Yahaya will be deputised by other senior journalists, Halima Umar Saleh and Ishaq Khalid.

One of the journalists who spoke on condition of anonymity, said many of them resigned because they were motivated by the Turkish media’s resolve to tell positive stories about Africa.

He said: “TRT wants us to change the narrative of storytelling. Other international media organisations have been reporting mainly hunger, wars and other negative narratives about Africa. There are good, positive stories in Africa – business and employment opportunities. There are cultural values, sports, innovations; people that are involved in artificial intelligence-related work. These are what TRT Hausa Service will be covering. Many international media are not reporting these things.

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“We’re not saying we’re not going to report Boko Haram, banditry and others, but we have other positive stories. There are human angle stories on Boko Haram. We want to give Africans voices. People should be heard about their positive stories; not just negative stories always.”

The journalist confirmed that “the last set of journalists tendered their resignation letters today (Monday).”

“Some of them are leaving today while others will leave in few days’ time. Five of us left in December. In Nigeria, BBC Hausa has more than 40 journalists, but now, about one third of us are leaving. It has never happened in BBC Hausa Service,” he added.

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The BBC is probably the biggest Hausa-language media in Nigeria, but there are several print, digital and radio outlets including Daily Trust, Deutsche Welle (DW Hausa), Voice of America Hausa, France’s RFI and China Radio International Hausa.

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