Mass exodus has hit the Hausa Service of the BBC, following the resignation of nine journalists from the organization.
According to Daily Trust, the number is said to be the highest in the history of the British media outfit.
The report said the affected staff members comprised two senior digital journalists, three social media journalists—two of whom are senior reporters—a senior bilingual reporter for Hausa/English Africa, a multimedia reporter, and two video journalists.
It was gathered that while five of the journalists left last December; the four others resigned on Monday to join newly established Africa section of Turkish Radio and Television, TRT, in Istanbul.
According to a BBC source who spokes to the newspaper, “this is unprecedented in the history of BBC Hausa. Nine journalists of BBC Hausa have joined the soon-to-be-launched TRT Hausa after the Turkish government decided to establish TRT Africa: Hausa, Swahili, French, and English for Africa”.
The source added that Nasidi Adamu Yahaya, who resigned as a senior digital journalist, would head the Hausa service at TRT, with other senior journalists, Halima Umar Saleh and Ishaq Khalid, as his deputies.
Asked what led to the mass resignation, one of the journalists, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were primarily motivated by the Turkish media’s resolve to tell positive stories in Africa.
He said: “TRT wants us to change the narrative of storytelling. Other international media organizations have been reporting mainly on 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.
“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, who also described the resignations as “unprecedented,” 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.