International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)
The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) in Abuja is to embark on a project that will help journalists across the country to conduct investigative reports on issues of transparency, accountability and good governance.
The ICIR is an independent, non-profit investigative reporting news agency, which aims at impacting on transparency and accountability in the public space.
The project, according to the Executive Director of the ICIR, Dayo Aiyetan, would involve providing training for up to 40 Nigerian journalists over a two year period as well as making available to them necessary funds to undertake investigative projects.
The project, which commences in April, is open to practicing journalists in print, electronic and new/digital media.
Freelance reporters who are interested in investigative journalism can also partake in the project as long as they have a guarantee of getting their reports published in a news outlet
Editors of newspapers would be required to nominate candidates for the training exercise scheduled for May, but nominees have to go through a screening process to qualify.
According to Aiyetan, those who go through the training would then be invited to pitch investigative story ideas, the most plausible and impactful ones which would be funded with seed money from the Ford Foundation.
He said the two-year training programme is broken into four modules and would incorporate the whole gamut of investigative journalism training that would equip participants to practice anywhere in the world.
According to him, the primary objective of the project is to help equip journalists in Nigeria with up – date – knowledge of investigative journalism as well as help cash strapped newsrooms to undertake critical watchdog reporting that can make government accountable to the people.
“First, we want to bridge the training gap in the Nigerian media, particularly as regards investigative journalism; and build a crop of committed, competent and well trained professionals doing critical reporting that can have an impact on good governance. But we also realised that we need to help the cash strapped newsrooms in which these journalists work with the resources to do serious investigative reporting,” he said.
Ultimately, he said, it is hoped that the project would be a catalyst in promoting a culture on investigative reporting in Nigeria, which he observed is missing now.
Successful participants whose investigative projects are funded would receive between $1,000 and $5,000 to cover reporting, travelling and other expenses and they would be expected to publish their reports in their news outlets.
Nominations for the training will be accepted until April 30.
The project is funded by Ford Foundation, an international body that supports visionary leaders and organisations on the frontlines of social change worldwide.