Kai Diekmann: Inside the former BILD editor-in-chief ’s trip to Lagos

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Kai Diekmann speaking in the Pulse newsroom

See pictures from Kai Diekmann's visit to the growing mega city in Nigeria.

Just before the 45th United States of America, Donald Trump was sworn into office in January 2017, he had a one-on-one interview which made headlines across the world. This interview was conducted by former Editor-in-chief of German news publication BILD, Kai Diekmann.

With a career spanning 31 years, German journalist Diekmann visited Nigeria for the first time on May 14, 2017. No, he didn’t come for a big scoop rather he came to share.

Day 1 - May 15, 2017

 

Diekmann’s first stop was at the Pulse Nigeria office where he started the morning watching a live session of 'The Morning Show' in the Pulse studios.

Following this, his adventure continued at Pan Atlantic University where he had a session with the year two Mass Communication students. Here he shared his journey into the world of journalism with them.

Journalism is not a profession, it’s something you do with every inch of your body,” he told the students.

 

Diekmann not only connected with the students based on their career aspirations, but also based on how young they were; as he himself was in his teenage years when his curiosity and passion for news kicked in.

During the interactive session with the students, he also shared tips as to how students could approach stories and craft questions that could make headline news.

 

Being an explore Diekmann did not confine himself to the lounge or walls of the hotel he stayed at on the island, rather that evening he stepped out into the humid air to experience the Lagos nightlife with walk around the Victoria Island axis.

 

Day 2 - May 16, 2017

The morning started off with a run around the Island; greeted by women skillfully balancing trays of agege bread on their head.

 

This was followed by a briefing with Pulse Nigeria’s Editor-in-chief Osagie Alonge.

 

After learning how Pulse Nigeria has positioned itself as an innovator in the online publishing space in the last five years by reporting the news and telling stories in a multimedia format, next stop was the New Afrika Shrine.

On the way there, Diekmann was surprised to see a Volkswagen bus (which had now been turned to a danfo) gearing a sticker with words in German.

Diekmann’s experience at the shrine was a memorable one as he connected with the spirit of Afrobeat through a walk around the shrine viewing pictures and memorabilia of the late Fela Kuti.

Day 3 - May 17, 2017

Diekmann started his career in an era where newspapers were the most popular way to get the news. He actually began his career writing and publishing the military newspaper while he was serving in the German army.

A lot has changed since when he received his training in journalism at publishing house Axel Springer AG’s journalism school.

The emergence of the digital age saw newsrooms across the world changing the way stories were presented. A few years ago, the BILD newsroom was faced with the need to develop and adapt to this new world of digital media and Diekman was there to champion things.

One of the highlights of the former editor’s trip was his engaging session with the Pulse Nigeria reporters.

A session which many of the Pulse journalists agreed was insightful and inspiring.

After a day in the newsroom, once again, he set out to explore what the city had to offer.

Diekmann didn’t just share his knowledge with students and journalists, he also spoke to tech and digital media experts about “The Digital Publishing Revolution From Europe To Africa” at the Mobile West Africa 2017 conference.

 

A visit to Lagos is not complete without a visit to the creeks or lagoons. After visiting the Island and the mainland, Diekmann took to Lagos’ popular fishing village Makoko.

 

Language was not a barrier for the well travelled journalist as he interacted with the locals. He described his experience here as a “Must see!”

After seeing a completely different side of the growing mega city, Diekmann returned to the Island and shared in a tweet how he felt like he was in a contrasting location.

Kai Diekmann’s trip to Lagos left those he interacted with inspired with his work and hoping perhaps he would stay a day longer.



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