Media experts harp on thorough reporting of corrupt practices

A media expert, Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, on Thursday described research as crucial foundation for successful investigative journalism, especially in exposing corrupt practices in the country.

Otufodunrin stated this in Kaduna, at a three-day media training on ‘Corruption and Storytelling,’ organised by Action Aid, an NGO, under the Strengthen Citizens Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption.

According to him, research is crucial in establishing the facts of perceived corrupt practices in the society.

“It is also necessary to establish the fact of claims, assertion and allegations, because you cannot do this effectively without carrying out a thorough research.

“Journalists have a constitutional obligation to investigate and expose wrongs in the society as well as promote positive acts.

“But a story must be based on accurate and sincere information, which is crucial for any investigation to make the needed impact,” he said.

Otufodunrin, Managing Editor of the Nation Newspaper, Online, described investigative journalism as report that requires a deep investigation on a specific issue, which could takes months or years of research.

He recommended a systemic approach to investigative journalism to establish facts that would help reach new conclusion on information that are of public interest.

Similarly, a Media Consultant and one of the facilitators of the training, Mr Francis Nwosu, stressed the need for journalists to live up to their responsibilities by writing stories and features exposing corruption in societies.

According to him, winning the fight against corruption depends heavily on media involvement not only to expose corrupt practices, but also mobilise the public against any form of corruption in the society.

“Fighting corruption is dangerous, as such, journalists must ensure that what they are reporting is evidence-based and factual to avoid misleading and misinforming the public.

“Media reports won’t create the desired impact, if reports are not evidence-based and backed by facts. No journalist will succeed in investigative journalism without diligent research.

“You must develop a habit of cross-checking information from news sources and the authorities to determine the fact of a claim,” he said.

Nwosu, a retired Deputy Editor-in-Chief with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), urged journalists to equip themselves with needed skills required to write investigative reports that would make a difference.

Earlier, the Project Administrator, Miss Foluso Ibigbami, explained that the training was to build the capacity of media practitioners on corruption reporting and storytelling using investigative and data journalism.

Ibigbami said that the expected outcome was to improve knowledge of journalists on reporting corruption to help the fight against graft. (NAN)

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