With the growing need to uncover and publish hidden facts and stories on the high cost of governance and the professionalism expected from journalists, the Premium Times centre for Investigative journalism (PTCIJ) hosted journalist to a two- day training.
The event which held with the support of MacArthur Foundation is part of the project on Advancing Government Accountability and Human Rights in Nigeria (AGAHRIN). It has the objectives of building the capacity of journalists in investigative and data journalism techniques and mentor them to use data and investigation to produce comprehensive reports on corruption, human rights violations and related issues within the Nigerian security sector.
“The big picture is to produce investigative journalists who will take the coverage of corruption, accountability and human rights issues as serious agenda and actualize better media content which will improve local and international understanding and engagement of the issues.”
To achieve this objective, PTCIJ sought the expertise of the executive director of the International Centre of Investigative Reporting, Dayo Aiyetan, the managing editor of Premium Times, Musikilu Mojeed; executive director of Public and Private Development Centre, Seember Ngayer and programme manager of Premium Times, Joshua Olufemi who dealt thoroughly with topics lined up for the two days training.
Mojeed believes the training has helped in equipping a new crop of investigative journalists in Nigeria with skills needed to hold officials accountable and enhance the people’s right to know.
A correspondent of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Nathan Nwakanma who was a participant said, “The training has opened new doors of opportunities to sharpen basic skills in helping me dig deeper and think critically about issues in discharge of my obligations to the larger society and my employer.
He also added that the training has opened doors for him to network and also opened a new vista in data interpretation and analysis. “An excellent opportunity I got. My writing will never be the same again,” he added.
Omodele Daniel, a reporter with National Daily newspaper opined that the training has helped broaden his investigative prowess to pay more attention to certain issues when investigating an issue.
“The training makes investigation less laborious for me especially through data analysis of subjects and it has significantly added value in the areas of story ideas,” he added.
The training had sessions on data journalism, generating story ideas, planning investigative stories, source-mapping stories, finding documents and accessing information on the web, public procurement and government accountability, security sector funding and accountability in Nigeria and journalistic ethics and codes.
By Esther Adeyanju