By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – An NGO, ActionAid has trained over 37 media practitioners from different organizations in Kaduna state on corruption reporting, investigative and data journalism.
The 3-day workshop tagged: “Training for Media Practitioners on Corruption Reporting: Investigative and Data Journalism'” was basically to prepare journalists, to do more on reporting corruption bedeviling the country.
Fielding questions from the media at the closed of the workshop, Consultant with Strengthening Citizens Resilience Against Prevalence of Corruption, (SCRAP-C), Halima Sarki, said the training is a project that appeals to the behavioral change of Nigerians.
She said SCRAP-C was in Kaduna to sensitized the media, build a partnership for collaboration on the issues of investigating corruption and reporting, especially from the voices of the people on the community.
“When we talk about corruption, it is given a national name, but each state has its own peculiarity that plays out. SCRAP-C has conducted trainings in six states of the federation: Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano and Borno, where journalists were trained to be able to unearth stories from the basis of each states,” she said.
Similarly, a media Consultant to ActionAid, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, said the essence of the workshop is to ensure that journalists do more than they have been doing, noting that for good governance to be realized, people must demand for accountability.
Otufodunrin who is also the Online Editor of the Nation newspapers said that if there is a collaboration with the media, it is expected that more than ever before, journalists should pay more attention to areas like education, health, taxation and power because these areas are so critical.
According to him, media as the only profession given mentioned in the Constitution, the practitioners should see this as a duty to hold government accountable, and when they do it, good governance is assured and every citizens would be happier.
He urged the media to desist from glamorizing corrupt individuals so that people could know that hard work pays; saying this should be the kind of messages journalists should portray in their repotage.
“Corruption is around us, and people should do what they are supposed to do. We are saying corruption is closer than we think and everybody has a role,” he stressed.
Otufodunrin tasked journalists to scale up the practice and become more professional. “We must encourage ourselves because there are enough things to discourage us; but we should see it as a major responsibility.”
“Even though other governments agencies and NGOs are doing a lot in the area of corruption fighting, they required collaboration with the media to succeed in reducing the menace to the barest minimum.”
Lectures on principles of clear writing, research, data journalism, integrating social media into news reporting, among other methodologies were presented by resource persons to improve and enhance reportage on corruption by participants.