To better improve the culture of investigative reporting in newsrooms of media houses across Nigeria, 46 journalists at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) were participated in an initial orientation session on the need for investigative reporting desks by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ). During WSCIJ’s visit to the agency’s Lagos office on Wednesday 30 November 2022 as part of the centre’s activities under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusivity and Accountability (CMEDIA) project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the faculty members took the journalists through how best to deploy investigative reporting tools to report issues at the state and local government levels.
Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/CEO, WSCIJ, in her presentation noted that the WSCIJ seeks to strengthen investigative reporting capacities of newsrooms and hold the government accountable at state and local government levels through its CMEDIA project and the investigative reporting desk. activity. According to her, media can accelerate development at the state and local government level through intentional investigative stories to activate civic participation and the ecosystem for transparency, accountability and good governance.
Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Professor, Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, and Technical Advisor on the CMEDIA project, asserted that issues around People with Disabilities (PWDs), gender inclusion, child labour, access to quality health care and other challenges faced by people at the grassroots are begging for attention. She noted that a focus on investigative reports will make NAN stand out given its national reach and credibility.
Speaking on the need for and how to strengthen the investigative reporting desk, Deji Badmus, Founder, TV360, noted that every aspect of journalism involves an investigation. For him, journalists must deploy creativity while reporting state and local government issues to attract the desired attention and accelerate development.
Ephraim Sheyin, Head, Lagos Office, NAN, appreciated WSCIJ for providing the agency and its staff a window for improvement as the watchdog of the society. He then urged the staff to take advantage of the opportunity the House-to-House visit presented them.