The BBC News Pidgin Minute Workshop was everything we looked forward to and it was the only #SMWLagos 2018 event using “Pidgin” as its official programming language. Just in case you don’t understand the headline above, it can be translated into English to mean ‘’This is What Happened at The BBC News Pidgin Minute Workshop”.

A year ago the BBC held a session about “Women in Digital Journalism” and talked about the imminent launch of BBC News Pidgin – the first fully digital service for Africa. On 21 August 2017, the BBC News Pidgin Service was launched and its growth has been phenomenal.

In this session, attendees watched how the BBC News Pidgin team produces the BBC Pidgin Minute which gives audiences across Nigeria and West Africa, trending news in 60 seconds. The BBC team was also generous in sharing video creation insights as well as the tactics that have helped them grow fast in just 6 months.

Here are some key takeaways from the event.

  • Pidgin is spoken by 70 million Nigerians alone and it is understood in neighbouring Ghana and Cameroon.
  • By telling stories in Pidgin, the BBC gives a platform to non-fluent English speakers to share their stories with the world using Pidgin.
  • The BBC broadcasts sensitive news in a light-hearted way using Pidgin but at the same time is able to hold government accountable.
  • Social media video is peculiar because many viewers prefer short videos that do not deplete their data significantly.
  • The BBC reports on trending topics but is very committed to double-checking the facts and sharing only high-quality content.
  • The BBC is committed to showcasing change makers in Africa and broadcast their inspiring stories to the world.

In conclusion, Adejuwon Soyinka, Editor at BBC Pidgin Service says that even in the midst of bad news, good things are happening in Nigeria and BBC Pidgin wants to focus on them and showcase the young generation to the world. Are you causing a change in your community? Then get in touch with the BBC Pidgin team via their website and social media platforms to share your story with the world.

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