A three-day train designed to transmit best practice modules from a specially designed story based investigative reporting manual wherein journalists learnt introduction to investigative reporting, forming the hypothesis, investigative reporting style and structure, data driven reporting using the Freedom of Information (FOI) law, among other things, ended in Gbarnga, Bong County over the weekend.
During the training, a high point was demonstrated by the host Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP) with support from UNESCO and brought together journalists and civil society actors from four counties Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Grand Bassa who also came out with story ideas, being hypothesis to test in unearthing various issues bordering on fraud and malfeasance.
At the training, clear distinction was made between the normal journalistic practice that sticks to reporting events as opposed to the process oriented story based investigative reporting.
The training was subjected to pre and post-test evaluation with sessions for recap which portrayed participants the level of understanding of the issues.
The facilitators CEMESP Program Officer Albert Baron Ansu and Publisher of the Public Trust Media Frank Sainworla stressed the point that investigative reporting requires research, depth and fraught with risk factors.
The trainers encouraged the participants not be cowered and over confident but see investigative reporting as process of following up on tip-offs in uncovering hidden issues that bring out fact and figures to serve the public interest.
Participants have shown the zest to work as a team in navigating the risks that abound and take ownership of the process.
They have been reminded that there is immense goodwill from donors that are eager to instill transparency and accountability based on fact based reporting anchored on ethics rather than subterfuge.
CEMESP will under this project provide support to the journalists and CSOs in cash and mentoring to ensure that issues will be produced into series of conclusive investigative pieces that will lead to concrete actions in policy enforcement and positive change in the lives of the people.
According to a release form the Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding, (CEMESP) Executive Director, Mr. Malcolm W. Joseph the training of twenty journalists of mixed gender, was designed to enable journalists in demanding political accountability leading to inclusive governance.
Civil groups in the network have committed to following up stories that will be investigated and produced under this project. CEMESP will at the end showcase these stories as examples of good journalism in holding public officials to account for stewardship.
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