The newly trained female Female Investigative Reporters have been charged to prioritize their safety and ensure that they indulge in evidence-based reporting.
The 20 journalists ,selected from across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. were trained by the Women Radio Centre, Nigeria’s first female academy.
Tagged Female Investigative Reporting Training 2.0, a statement by Esther Alaribe ,Women Radio 91.7 said the women were trained by seasoned media personalities ,including those in investigative journalism from various institutions,
Among the facilitators were, Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher of Premium Times, who served as the head of this year’s faculty and Dr Suleiman M. Yar’adua of Bayero University Kano
Others were Busola Ajibola, Deputy Director of Journalism Programme CJID, Idris Akinbajo, Managing Editor of Premium Times Newspaper, Charles Mbah, Programme Manager Dataphyte, and Silas Jonathan, Fact-Checker and Researcher of DUBAWA Nigeria.
Mr Olorunyomi emphasised the importance of democracy and the protection of human rights in Nigeria.
He also highlighted the crucial role of journalists in demanding accountability from elected leaders and setting agendas for leaders on matters of public interest. Dr Yar’Adua spoke about the ethics of investigative journalism, emphasising the importance of gathering facts and evidence during investigations.
Busola Ajibola advised journalists to prioritize their safety while carrying out their duties.
Idris Akinbajo charged the participants to delve deeply into their investigations and seek to unearth secrets about individuals and institutions that can deter the growth and development of Nigeria. Charles Mbah advised them to utilize digital tools in collating and keeping data, which would help to track trends with data and keep the public informed of relevant changes and indexes.
The participants, led by Toun Okewale Sonaiya and Dapo Olorunyomi, paid a courtesy visit to the Ogun State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Abdulwaheed Odusile. Odusile shared his investigative journalism experience and advised the participants to be safety conscious and ensure that their reports reflect Nigeria positively.
In her address, Toun Okewale Sonaiya, the Co-founder of Women Radio 91.7, encouraged the female journalists to apply what they have learned during the training and leverage the network of people they have met in the course of the program.
The training, which aims to empower female investigative journalists to address the under-representation and under-reporting of women’s issues, is an initiative of Women Radio 91.7 and is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
The Women Radio Centre 2023 fellows will be coached by Anike-Ade Funke Treasure, Executive Director of Illuminate Nigeria Development Network; Amzat Ajibola, Africa Editor for the Centre for Collaborative Investigative Journalism; Pinado Waba, a fact-checker and freelance journalist; Bilikisu Labaran, Head of Africa Service, BBC and Dr Ruqayyah Aliyu of Bayero University Kano. This program is set to equip the participants with the necessary skills and expertise to produce more in-depth, hard-hitting, and impactful investigative stories that tackle issues of public interest from women’s perspectives.