National Record Trains Journalists on Investigative Reporting

Cross Section participants at National Record training on investigative reporting in Abuja

National Record, an online news publication, has conducted a three-day training on investigative reporting in Abuja for journalists from Kogi State, Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory.

Mr. Iduh Lawrence Onah, Editor-in-Chief, National Record, in his opening remarks tasked journalists to engage in ethical investigation of issues concerning violation of rights of workers, sexual harassment, abuse of rights of people with disabilities, unfair labour or precarious labour practices by employers – whether in the public or private sector in the County.

Iduh said National Record is committed to an open society governed by civilized, democratic and accountable norms; a society whose governance code is people-driven for a secure and sustainable future.

He said that it is important for the media to hold accountable government at all levels, public servants, private organisations and individuals in positions of authority for their actions and inactions.

Beyond the broad objective of building the capacity of journalists, he said, the essence of the training was primarily to sharpen the professional instinct of participants in the area of investigative or accountability journalism, so that in the end, they will be commissioned to carry out investigation and report on issues affecting the Nations development.

“Our broad focus under the CMEDIA Project is tracking and investigating labour-related issues, including workplace sexual abuse/harassment; abuse of rights of marginalized groups by public and private entities as well as harmful environmental activities of national and multinational corporations in local communities,” said Iduh.

Dr. Theophilus Abbah, Programme Director at Daily Trust Foundation, in his paper presentation titled, “What should journalists investigate” said journalists should avoid being rubber stamps but rather engage in investigative issues that would correct the wrongs in the society.

Dr. Abbah stated that, for an investigative story to add value to society, the journalists must consider the significance of the investigation, unraveling the impact of crime on the lives of the people, and have the skills and capacity to unravel crime.

He itemized fraud, conflict of interest, waste and management, murder, organized crimes, cybercrime, drug abuse, sex and related offences, procurement fraud as some of the things journalists should investigate to put an end to corruption in Nigeria, reminding journalists that an investigative story is not a news story, feature or interview but that it involves research, digging deep to unravel fraudulent activities in the country.

Another paper presented during day one of the training was “investigative journalism: Practical Guides to Writing Your Report by Ejekwonyilo Ameh, from Premium Times.

The programme was carried out under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusion and Accountability (CMEDIA) Project supported by the McArthur Foundation through the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ).