ANCIR Holds Cross Examination Course for Investigative Reporters


The African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR) is organizing a two-day workshop titled Cross Examination Course for Investigative Reporters. The course aims to equip journalists in Ghana with the skills to determine whether an interview source is telling the truth or lying.

The course will take place on June 16 and 17, 2014 at the iSpace lab in Osu, Accra, Ghana.

According to ANCIR, “Cross-examination is the most effective engine devised for sifting truth from lies. It is the process by which an accusation and denial are evaluated to determine what is true and to unravel, where false, detailed defenses. This is, quintessentially, the investigative journalist’s craft. Yet the art of the forensic interview is seldom taught to reporters.”

ANCIR is seeking to change the problem of absence of proper training for reporters on cross examination through a series of hands-on courses led by legal professionals.

Ghanaian journalists and human rights activists are being invited to sign-up for the free two-day workshop, where they will learn to apply courtroom-style cross-examination skills used to sharpen their own performance with difficult interviewees, especially those with something to hide.

ANCIR said: “The knowledge and use of techniques discussed in the course will allow journalists to better discern the truth of a version supplied to them and to properly discredit false denials.”

Besides, it said, “This path-breaking course additionally assists journalists in structuring an exposé that is convincing to readers and also legally defensible. Elements of believability, used by legal prosecutors throughout the world to sift truth from fiction, will be laid bare through course content, audio and visual files, among other resources.”

Participants in the course will have access to ongoing support from ANCIR specialists, and will be eligible for investigative story grants offered by ANCIR partners.

Previously incubated under the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) in 2013 for individual journalists, the course is now being offered to media houses across the continent.

The course is organized by ANCIR with sponsorship by Free Press Unlimited (FPU).

 ANCIR is an association of the continent’s best investigative newsrooms, ranging from large traditional media to small specialist units. It works to strengthen African investigative journalism by improving the techniques, expertise, and the tools used in muckraking newsrooms. This includes providing member newsrooms with the world’s best encryption and semantic analysis technologies, to forensic research support through the Investigative Dashboard, legal services, and seed grants for cross-border collaboration.

ANCIR is underwritten by the continent’s largest association of media owners and operators, the African Media Initiative (AMI) and receives technology support from Code for Africa.