Wole Soyinka Centre, Albarka FM Host Media Roundtable on Investigative Reporting and Storytelling Techniques

Ms Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism

The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) in collaboration with Albarka 89.9 FM, based in Ganmo, Kwara State, on February 13, 2024, held a one-day media roundtable on “ABC of Investigative Journalism and Amplifying Change for Development – Using Storytelling Techniques” for participants drawn from various media organizations and practitioners across the State.

Two resource persons, Ms Joke Kujenya, a media mentor, and Mr. Aliyu Usman from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) took participants on different aspects of investigative journalism and effective storytelling techniques.

Speaking via Zoom, Joke Kujenya emphasised the critical role of investigative journalism in fostering good governance, transparency, accountability, and social justice. She provided valuable insights into crafting compelling investigative reports, cautioning participants against defamation and libel while stressing the importance of seeking legal guidance when necessary.

She said investigative journalism surpasses regular or routine daily reporting, that it delves into critical issues and plays a vital role in society, adding that: “it highlights the transformative impact of exploratory stories on societal change, promoting transparency, accountability, and social justice.”

She said investigative reporting “starts with the essential practice of asking the right questions, reflecting the journalist’s role as a watchdog holding powerful interests accountable,” adding that it emphasises the potential of exploratory stories to drive social change within societies by shedding light on systemic problems and fostering awareness.

In his lecture, Aliyu Usman underscored the significance of storytelling in driving social change. He urged journalists to leverage their narrative skills as instruments for societal transformation, emphasizing the constitutional duty of journalists to inform, educate, and raise awareness on issues essential for societal progress.

He said: “Media empowers individuals and communities to voice their concerns, challenge the status quo, and demand change. Examples include citizen journalism, participatory media, and alternative media organisations.”

The round-table discussion which took place at the City-In-Hotel in G.R.A Ilorin was supported by funding support from the MacArthur Foundation through the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusivity and Accountability (CMEDIA) Project, a multi-level intervention that supports media independence, improved transparency, accountability, and good governance in state and local governments with more public awareness on the need for accountability, and amplified marginalised voices.