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Three new media facilities are to be unveiled in Nigeria today that aim to help journalists improve reporting of development aspects of science, health, environment and population.

The facilities — a media resource and advocacy centre, a computer 'club house' and access to an online population database — are being officially inaugurated by Finjap Njinga, the director of the United Nations Information Centre, Lagos.

They will be managed by the Development Communications (DEVCOMS) Network, a Nigerian non-governmental organisation (NGO) that was set up in 1999 to further public understanding and participation in science and development.

"We use an integrated approach to promote public understanding of science," says Akin Jimoh, programme director at DEVCOMS.

In addition to popularising online journalism, the new facilities will enable training of journalists and NGO-workers on the use of Internet resources. So far DEVCOMS has trained 60 journalists on Internet-assisted reporting of HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and sexual rights issues.

The media centre has been established with the assistance of Ford Foundation, the Centre for Communication Programs at John Hopkins University and the United States Agency for International Development.