Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Participants appraise impact as DAILY NIGERIAN trains 105 journalists on Grassroots Investigative Reporting

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By Victor Akuma

Almost every sector of the Nigerian state has witnessed continuous moral and structural decadence and these have further permeated the grassroots levels, where individuals have become hostile and at every slightest opportunity, are ready to misuse public funds, but investigative journalism can help uncover these issues, revealing to the society, hidden truths.

These are the words of Jemimah Dada, after completing a two-day training on investigative reporting organized by DAILY NIGERIAN, in collaboration with The Penlight Center for New Media Innovations.

DAILY NIGERIAN is an online newspaper platform established in 2016, with focus on investigative and developmental angle reports.

The program which held at Doko International Hotels, Minna, Niger state from the 13-14 of May 2022, was geared towards equipping selected journalists with the rudiments of grassroots investigative reporting; sourcing for investigative story ideas, pitching and the craft of writing investigative reports.

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For Jemimah, one of the Niger state participants, investigative journalism was hitherto a ‘no-go-area’ because she preferred to mind her business, no matter what was wrong in the society. “I have very little knowledge about investigative journalism. In fact, I detested it because I felt it’s all about poke nosing and witch hunting.”

The 23 year old ended up convinced after the training and would source for investigative story ideas to pitch to the editors of DAILY NIGERIAN. ”It was an intriguing two-day journey. I had an expectations but my expectations were met in a multiple folds. The lectures were eye opening. I met amazing journalists who are doing great things in the field. The friendliness of the organizers and their warmth meant a lot and now, I am willing to go all in, developing grassroots investigative story ideas I would like to work on,” she said.

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According to Mohammed Dahiru Lawal, the Project Manager of Grassroots Investigative Journalism Project, GIRP, at The Penlight Center, many journalists run away from investigative reporting because they lack proper knowledge of its glories and how it works.

“I wouldn’t say many journalists wouldn’t want to delve into investigative reporting because it has its own glories, especially looking at it from the angle of helping public and private institutions.

“Exposing inactions doesn’t all the time mean that as an investigative journalist you are fighting established authority, no you are exposing inactions for the necessary action to be taken by the right authority.

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“Yes, there are certain ventures in investigative journalism that are dangerous but every job has its own hazards that is why we encourage journalists on the project to always analyse situations and weigh the associated risks. If it is life threatening situation that is where the golden principle of safety first comes handy,” he said.

Though at its maiden edition, the training covered 105 media persons across three selected states of Gombe (35 persons), Kano (42) and Niger (28).

The organization also promised funding to carry out each approved investigative pitch by the certified participants.

Among other participants at the training in Niger state include 29-year-old Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga; Ibrahim Awotunde Adeyinka, 21; Muhammad Muhammad, 31 and; Abubakar Sadiq Mustapha.

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