The saying, the reward for good work is more work, resonates with us at the WSCIJ. Towards the end of a busy 2021, we added three new projects to our portfolio—The Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusion and Accountability (The Collaborative Media project), Report Women! News and Newsroom Engagement and the Civic Space Guard project.
The Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusion and Accountability
The Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusion and Accountability (The Collaborative Media project) will be implemented with support from the MacArthur Foundation over the next three years. WSCIJ and 26 partner organisations will work on anti-corruption and accountability investigative reporting, data journalism, capacity development and advocacy interventions that will focus on sub-national levels of government in Nigeria, the private sector and under-reported issues, places and people.
WSCIJ will also host a series of trainings on hostile environment awareness, security risk assessment and management, digital security, and mental and physical wellbeing of journalists and community-based media organisations; as well as create opportunities for peer learning and collaboration among select media organisations. The inception meeting for the project has already commenced.
The Report Women! News and Newsroom Engagement supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has kicked off with two strategy sessions. 11 resource persons converged on Lagos between 16 and 17 of February to action a framework for the three-year project. As part of the project, we will design a source guide of women experts, raise champions for the cause of equality and engage news media houses on the leadership of women in the news and newsrooms. Launched in 2014 to address the dearth of news reports on issues of access and abuse affecting girls and women in Nigeria, the Report Women! initiative has produced 53 fellows with direct impact over 2,300 beneficiaries till date. There are also 21 reporters awaiting graduation.
The Civic Space Guard project which commenced with the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting, seeks to fortify the position of the media as an independent protector of the civic space, and thereby expand civic engagement for government accountability, good governance and social justice. The project will increase public awareness on the laws for and against the sanctity of the civic space through research and conversations, monitor media reports on the status of the civic space, and reward reporters who investigate.
Meanwhile, the award and induction ceremony for the 2021 cohort of the Report Women! Female Reporters Leadership Programme fellowship will hold soon. All 21 female reporters on the fellowship have implemented their stories and leadership projects following the training and mentorship exposure given them on the fellowship. With the support of the Open Society for West Africa (OSIWA), we equally have worked with other reporters to track the justice status of some Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) cases reported in the media as well as produce investigative stories on SGBV in Nigeria.
Wole Soyinka Media Lecture Series
The 14th Wole Soyinka Media Lecture Series is one of the juicy menus we have on offer for 2022. This lecture series will commemorate Professor Wole Soyinka’s 88th birthday, July 13. It will present a perfect opportunity to engage on important conversations on media, governance and social justice.
Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting
Since inception of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting till date, we have had 102 finalists, 52 Soyinka Laureates, and 11 investigative journalists of the year while 24 media and human rights leaders have bagged the prestigious Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence and the Anti-Corruption/Human Rights Defender Awards. The 17th edition of the initiative will hold on Friday, 9 December on the International Anti-Corruption Day which was chosen for the award presentation since 2009.