Call for Application: Media mentors to strengthen the capacity of media outlets and emerging practitioners in Plateau State Nigeria

Country: Nigeria
Organization: Search for Common Ground
Closing date: 20 Mar 2020

Call for Application: Media mentors to strengthen the capacity of media outlets and emerging practitioners in Plateau State Nigeria

Position Summary

Search for Common Ground seeks professional and highly motivated media mentors, who will be responsible for supervising and building the capacity of media outlets identified through the capacity assessment. The Consultant will provide technical support and enhance the capacity gaps prevalent in the media outlet assigned to she/him. The consultant will also serve as a mentor for emerging media practitioners through a fellowship program, to implement their media-for-peace initiatives. The mentorship program will be tailored in line with Search’s Common Ground Approach to Journalism. S/he will work closely with the Search team, under the guidance and supervision of the National Program Manager.

Project Summary

Across the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, Plateau State has been one of the most volatile states within the region, with a history of communal violence, a state emergency declared in the state in recent history, and the continued existence of live fault lines that leave the state vulnerable to internal crisis between community groups. As such, the rise in farmer-herder conflict across the region is further compounded within Plateau as a result of the conflict fault lines that already exist within the state.

Within this context, media coverage often sensationalizes violence with insufficient analysis or explanations, reinforcing divisive narrative. Sensational news coverage both hampers effective policymaking and escalates tensions between conflicting groups, fueling deadly reprisal attacks. The rise of social media and the prevalence of fake news on these platforms have also contributed to the escalation of violence as false claims and violent images pit groups against each other.

Goals and Objectives

The overall goal of the project is to strengthen the media sector’s capacity to advance accurate reporting on and peace messaging related to conflicts across Plateau State. This goal is supported by the following specific objectives and corresponding expected results (ERs)

Objective 1: To amplify peaceful narratives and access to reliable, credible, and conflict-sensitive information across Plateau State

Expected Results

  1. Traditional and new media stakeholders have increased capacity to promote peace and disseminate reliable, credible and conflict-sensitive information

  2. Citizens have increased access to positive messaging and content that dispels rumors and hate speech, strengthens understanding of conflict drivers, and fosters intergroup engagement for peace.

Scope of work (SoW) for the Media Mentor:

Search seeks to engage media mentors to support in the development of media outlets in Plateau State. The mentoring support to the media outlets will entail purposeful and targeted guidance based on the outcome of a capacity assessment of media outlets. The mentors will help support the decision-making of the outlets within their practice, including processes and systems around media use. The mentor’s role will encompass a variety of strategies for support, with each successful mentor required to provide their expertise through mentoring to individual media outlets. The successful mentors should strive to ensure that the support provided is respectful, appropriate, and relevant. Added within this SoW for the media mentor(s), is the support that will be provided to emerging media practitioners in Plateau State to develop and implement peace initiatives through a fellowship program, which includes a field work component, whereby trained students shadow Search and the media mentors throughout the project and contribute to the media content produced. The students have the opportunity to continue learning from and building relationships with existing media professionals as well as have the opportunity to apply the skills learned in the fellowship through a learning-by-doing approach.

The media mentor will be saddled with the responsibility of mentoring 2-3 emerging media fellows and a media outlet in Jos Plateau State, for a period of at least 1.5 month.

The two principal goals of this formal mentoring program are:

  • To align mentoring as a lifelong learning tool

  • To ensure the benefits of the program are understood across the institutions and individuals that will be mentored

The Mentoring Program will accomplish the following:

  • Develop relationships with media outlets and fellows to address the project’s need for a high performance cadre of media practitioners who are adaptable; who inspire, motivate, and guide others to produce tangible results; and who demonstrate high standards of honesty, integrity, trust, openness, and respect for conflict-sensitive reporting

  • Provide institutional knowledge and accountability for the program’s success factors, and desired outcomes and evaluation of the scope and quality of program activities.

  • Increase and ensure media sector support, thereby increasing their participation and program success.

  • Strive to improve public perception on the respective roles of the media in advancing peace through responsible journalism, which a mentoring program can support.

  • Increase awareness and ensure the program design includes mentoring options that represent Plateau States’ demographics and diversity.

  • Provide policy and procedures aimed at assuring appropriateness, effectiveness, and efficiency in activities, and ensure organizational integration into the overall mentoring program.

  • Ensure development modifications and initiatives are based on survey and evaluation findings, and are in compliance with the objectives of the project.

Specific tasks/Deliverables of the Media Mentor

  • Ensure a formal mentoring planned is created and sustained.

  • Oversee the mentoring plans’ execution.

  • Oversee the development, implementation and evaluation of the mentoring program.

  • Define the goals and objectives for the mentoring program, which should be tied directly to the programs objectives.

  • With financial support from Search, he/she commit in-kind resources to train, direct, mentor, and coach participants

  • Provide interactive and challenging sessions that entail involvement.

  • Review and make thorough and consistent evaluations of the participants/mentees progress

  • Provide support to guide and direct efforts of mentors and mentees to ensure successful program completion

  • Facilitate planning and managing participant’s/mentees assessments, tracking and scheduling activities, documentation of reporting requirements

  • Continuously review and evaluate program assignments and activities throughout the program cycles and ensure instructions are organized and procedures match relevant forms and checklists

  • Work with the mentee in developing an Individual Development Plan (IDP)

  • Understand how the organization manages its programs, create realistic work products, and model behavior

  • Study key core competencies needed to sustain a strong leadership environment

  • Ensure mentee work projects/initiatives have start and end dates, and do not distract from the mentee’s official duties

  • Meet routinely with the mentee to discuss and monitor progress

  • Provide feedback and recommendations for program improvement

The Mentee will;

  • Meet routinely with mentor

  • Actively participate in mentoring activities and goal accomplishment

  • Provide feedback and recommendations for program improvement

Mentoring Program Documents

The following documents will be provided to support a smooth process for potential mentees and mentors, to evaluate and continuously improve the mentoring program:

  • Confidentiality agreement – The mentoring program must be a safe environment for mentees and mentors to freely share information with one another. To help build trust, they must be able to establish clear boundaries on how the shared information is to be treated.

  • Mentoring agreement – The mentoring agreement establishes how and when the mentee and mentor will meet.

  • Mentee action plan – To determine activities that ensure mentoring goals are met; a mentee action plan is a must. The mentee will complete the plan with help from the mentor.

  • Mentoring log – The mentee and mentor should record their meetings and activities to show progress achieved and assist with end-of-program feedback.

  • Evaluation – At the mid-point of the program and at the end, mentees and mentors will be asked to evaluate the program. Their input will help make any necessary adjustments to ensure the program remains effective. For targeted mentoring pairs, a competency assessment tool will be used at the start and end of the mentoring relationship.

Criteria for the selection of Mentors

Ideally the mentor should be able to:

  • Be respected as an experienced and successful professional in the organization

  • Support the organization’s mission, vision, and goals

  • Stay accessible, committed, and engaged during the length of the program

  • Listen well

  • Offer encouragement through genuine positive reinforcement

  • Be a positive role model

  • Share “lessons learned” from their own experiences

  • Be a resource and a sounding board

Required Qualifications and Experiences


  • University degree or equivalent in communications, journalism, media studies or related fields. Master’s degree is added advantage.


  • Experience in the fields of journalism, broadcast, Media production, and ICT. Preferably a Master’s degree or equivalent in Communications, Journalism, Media studies or related fields. A PhD degree is an added advantage.

  • 8 to 10 years’ experience as a journalist and trainer, preferably in peacebuilding programming;

  • Experience training and working with media practitioners and young people, from diverse ethnic and religious background;

  • Demonstrated experience in peacebuilding/conflict transformation projects or media work in conflict-prone environments;

  • Relevant experience working in a media institution, NGO or INGO

Required skills

  • Excellent knowledge of the Middle Belt conflict dynamics

  • Familiarity with the media sector in Plateau state.

  • Strong command of English language, with excellent written and oral communication skills and interpersonal communication skills. Knowledge of Hausa and Fulfulde languages is an added advantage.

  • A demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards;

  • Ability to prioritize, plan and organize workflow to tight timeframes, handle multiple tasks, and be flexible with changing priorities.

  • Attitude for teamwork and good leadership skills

  • Attention to detail: The ability to process detailed information effectively and consistently.

  • Collaboration: The ability to work effectively with others in order to achieve a shared goal – even when the object at stake is of no direct personal interest possibilities.

  • Learning Ability: The ability to absorb new information readily and to put it into practice effectively

  • Adaptability: The ability to remain fully functional by adapting to changing circumstances (environment, procedures and people).

This application process will close on Friday, 20th March, 2020.

How to apply:

To apply:

Interested applicants are invited to send an application to our Career portal and their application MUST include the following:

  • A motivation letter, explaining why they are the most suitable candidate for the advertised consultancy

  • CV and technical proposal that includes and proposed trainings and curricula.

  • Detailed financial budget proposal for the entire consultancy. Lump sum inclusive of incidentals.

  • Work plan, detailing, timeline and deliverables.

  • Please compile your writing sample, work plan and resume into one document as the system only has the functionality to upload two documents per application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Please compile your writing sample, work plan and resume into one document as the system only has the functionality to upload two documents per application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please. Please see our website​ for full details of our work.

Search for Common Ground (Search) is an international non-profit organization that promotes the peaceful resolution of conflict. With headquarters in Washington, DC and Brussels, Belgium, Search’s mission is to transform how individuals, organizations, and governments deal with conflict away from destructive approaches towards cooperative solutions. With more than 600 staff worldwide, Search implements projects in more than 30 countries across the globe.

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