Actionaid Nigeria has charged journalists in the country, especially judiciary correspondents on the need to change action and tackle frontally the fight against corruption in the country.
The Project Manager, SCRAP-C, Actionaid Nigeria, Newton Otsemaye made the call at a 2-day media training on corruption and investigative reporting organized by ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) and Journalists’ Against Poverty (JAP).
The theme of the training was “Advanced Investigative Reporting: A fresh perspective for Journalists.”
According to Otsemaye, what the organization was set to achieve is to have a strong partnership with the media for a change of action on the issue of corruption.
He said, “We are out to let the media see the need for change of action and the desire for partnership in the fights against corruption in the country.
“If any project is to be successful today, the media is key. For instance, the media now report corruption better today from a very comprehensive perspective unlike what we used to have in the past, but there is still more to be done to enhance effectiveness.
Also speaking, a trainer and Senior Media Officer, Centre for Communications and Social Impact, Abuja, Seun Akioye, said the collaboration between the duo in the corruption war stemmed from the point of view of underdevelopment and poverty that corruption has caused the country.
He said carrying out impactful investigative stories or getting incontrovertible fact or evidence of corruption in the open needed modern skill of fact-checking and fact-gathering.
“As we know, Nigeria is perceived all over the world as a corrupt country, so much that the menace has become an hydra-headed monster, which if not tackled head-on is capable of stalling our advancement towards being a developed nation.
“Consequently, we decided to collaborate with Actionaid Nigeria and other development partners by bringing journalists together on how we can together start questioning and critiquing about these issues and making sure that the government is accountable to the people.”
On the need for Journalists to carry out proper investigation bordering on corruption, Akioye said, “In the past, it used to be an allegation or rumour that people usually report, but now, we are harping on the media getting the facts right.”
While speaking on the training take-aways, a participant and Judicial Correspondence for the Peoples’ Daily Newspaper, Vivian Okejeme said that she has become more knowledgeable on how to go about corruption reportage in the future.
She said, “When I came for the training, I had a high hope and it has been confirmed by the quality of training received today.
“I believe that truly, we have been doing some things wrongly as it concern reporting corruption and other related offence in the country.
“I have also understood that reporting corruption should not just be about the amount stolen but by also putting a human face to it, by quantifying the amount stolen.
“By so doing, the society too might offer to help in fighting the scourge of corruption,” she noted