The US Consulate General and the International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, have challenged Nigerian journalists on the necessity for extra vigour investigations for accountability and to place leaders on their toes in the direction of constructing a greater society.
Addressing journalists throughout a two-day digital coaching programme for choose journalists in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, on Tuesday, Stephen Ibelli, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate General Lagos, famous that “journalism is an integral part of democracy as it helps check abuse and ensure accountability. Journalists help to keep the society informed, question government policies, gather information and put these information together for the public.”
According to the US Consulate General, investigation little question will result in sanity in society, improvement, progress in addition to prudent spending in governance.
He added that as a part of its dedication to develop, equip, strengthen the talents in investigative journalism, the American authorities determined to companion the International Press Centre (IPC), to place collectively the two-day coaching for choose journalists within the South-South area of Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme of the coaching, “Investigative Health Care Reporting”, Ms Rachel Goldstein, a US public well being skilled, opined that journalists have very important and all encompassing roles to play in investigative journalism to develop and develop public well being care.
Goldstein, nonetheless, admonished journalists by no means to relent however proceed to work to make sure that healthcare stays a precedence to the federal government and that satisfactory assets are channelled in the direction of the sector.
The programme was organised by the International Press Centre (IPC), in partnership with the US Consulate General, Lagos.
Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, IPC, Lagos, tasked Nigerian journalists to do extra in investigative journalism and at all times cross-check info earlier than doing studies.
“The need for investigation and fact-checking by journalists cannot be over-emphasised because it will bring about governance reform, accountability, public interest as well as credibility in reportage. This is imperative because when journalists fail to do the needful by properly checking their facts, this can lead to failure of journalism,” he mentioned.
Arogundade, a veteran journalist and human assets developer, acknowledged that the media capability constructing programme, supported by the US Consulate General, would assist to sharpen the reporting expertise of journalists.
Presenting a paper titled “Challenges and Prospects of Primary Healthcare Development in Nigeria: The Akwa-Ibom Context and What The Media Need to Understand”, Chairman, Akwa Ibom Primary HealthCare Board, Martin Akpan described the investigative journalist as a nation reformer.
“Today the general public is being fed with half-baked tales and outright lies in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is barely investigative journalists such as you that may come to the individuals’s rescue by unearthing the reality and disseminating similar to re-orientate the individuals on the appropriate approach to go. As the watchdogs of the society, you should be manifestly goal and should hold at bay the tempting toga of sensationalism so as to not mislead the general public,” he mentioned.
In her presentation in a paper titled “Monitoring and Evaluation as a component of Investigative Journalism”, Executive Director, International Society of Media In Public Health, Moji Makanjuola, known as for correct monitoring and analysis by journalists, saying investigative journalism is essential to improvement and good governance.
“In finishing up investigative journalism, three ranges of knowledge must be thought of which embody enter stage info the place the journalist must scrutinise the world of funding, and the output stage info, the place the journalist wanted to probe to what extent the federal government had gone. Journalists should be capable to probe insurance policies and never simply enter and output.
“In my days in NTA, as a health reporter, I used my tools to change lives, hold government accountable and better the society. As journalists, we must up our game at all times because the society depends on us so much. We must study the system and have a better understanding of how it works. As journalists, you must be bold, brave and command respect at all levels, and have trust and confidence in yourselves and let nothing but truth be your watchword always.”
In the identical vein, Akinlabi Jimoh, Project Director, Development Communication Network (DEVCOMS), in a paper titled “Media, Accountability and Healthcare Governance,” challenged journalists to hold out investigations past the borders of presidency, saying a vigilant press is vital to good governance and reforms.