WSCIJ Builds Journalists’ Capacity on Digital Security for Investigative Journalism

Mrs Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/CEO, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism

The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), on November 13 and 14, 2023, conducted a two-day virtual training on digital safety and security for investigative reporting for its partners in the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusion and Accountability (CMEDIA) Project. It was attended by over 50 journalists drawn from different media organisations in Nigeria.

The training, which featured questions and answers as well as interactive sessions, was held to equip the CMEDIA partners with knowledge, skills and tools necessary to enhance their personal safety and secure themselves, their data, equipment and mental well-being, both during and after their investigative reporting projects and was a direct response to the concerns and challenges raised by partners in their reports and during WSCIJ visits to them.

Speaking at the event, Executive Director/CEO of WSCIJ, Mrs Motunrayo Alaka, said the training became necessary due to the rising threats to press freedom, safety, and security of journalists working on investigative stories.

Mrs. Alaka added that the training would enhance the capacity of media professionals on measures and mechanisms for ensuring safety and security, especially during investigative reporting, and the coverage of dangerous assignments.

She urged participants to take advantage of the training to improve their capacities and enhance their security during their duties.

Ms Nanbaan Pwaspo, a digital security expert and resource person at the training took the participants through a session on “digital security,” stressing the need for journalists to understand the various forms of cyber threats that they confront in their work.

She also touched on how to research and communicate securely using digital tools, especially during investigations.

Ms Pwaspo emphasized the need for journalists carrying out dangerous assignments to keep their personal details and images off social media while also developing effective digital security.

Mr. Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor of The Nation Newspapers, (Northern Operation), who presented a paper on “How to do great stories and avoid legal pitfalls,” noted that journalists “need to be abreast of the various laws and statutory provisions,” to avoid litigations that might arise from their stories.

The training was carried out under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusion 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. It was supported by the MacArthur Foundation.