NGO Challenges Journalists to Uncover Untold Stories at Grassroots Level

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THE Executive Director/CEO, Safer-Media Initiative (SMI), Mr Peter Iorter, has urged journalists to through investigative journalism uncover the untold stories that abound at the grassroots level stating that communities at sub-national levels are not satisfied with media coverage at that level.

Mr Iorter made the comment at a two-day capacity-building workshop held in Abuja on investigative journalism organised by SMI in collaboration with the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and the MacArthur Foundation under the theme; “Strengthening Grassroots Governance and Accountability Reporting.” It had in attendance 39 Nigerian journalists.

Mr Iorter

Iorter told the journalists that the findings of a survey conducted by SMI indicate that 69.7 percent of communities are not satisfied with media coverage of goings on at local communities; adding that there is therefore the need for journalists to deepen and commit themselves to investigating the multifaceted issues going on in various communities.

According to him, the major aim of the training is therefore to equip participants to do impactful investigative stories to assist the vulnerable in the society.

The guest speaker, Professor Abiodun Adeniyi of the Department of Mass Communication, Baze University, Abuja, advised journalists to remain safe in the course of delivering their mandates within communities with the mind-set of grassroots accountability

He noted that the inverted pyramid needs to be reinverted to look into issues that are considered less important but causing great havoc within the communities.

A resource person for the programme, Mr Taiwo Adebayo, who is the Editor and Head of the Investigations and Data Desk, Premium Times, urged journalists to prioritise holding the powerful accountable and exposing wrongdoings as they collect, process and disseminate information.

Urging journalists to be intentional in their reportage and always verify claims by digging deeper to asked basic questions on how and why certain things happen so as to uncover the truth and publish facts, Adebayo also encouraged journalists to give to the public information needed to enable them to take informed decision even as investigative journalism is not about what they want but what they can prove.

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