The Executive Director for the Africa centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA) Mr. Wiliam Nyarko is calling for adequate resources and funding to be channeled into investigative reporting to attract more journalists have requisite capacity in the fight against corruption.
It has been established that a number of investigative journalists are unable to carry out their respective topic of interests successfully as a result of funding. Aside this, the study area may not be the preferred choice to many journalists due to the impression that the sector is risky.
As a result of this, ACILA is not only facilitating and organising capacity building workshops for investigative reporters, but also has committed a seed amount of Ghc5,000 to assist journalists with needed resources in their field of work.
Since the fund was launched June 2018, Mr. Nyarko noted that various individuals, corporate entities and some benevolent organizations have channeled enormous support and resources to keep the fund active.
According to the Executive Director, some journalists have already shown interest in the fund and have applied for support.
“There is interest, but the thing has to do more with expertise. We have fewer investigative journalists. It is not actually about having the fund, but providing capacity building so they can have interest to do more stories”, Mr. Nyarko said.
Since adequate resourcing is a key component to harness the work of investigative reporters, participants at the conference from the West African sub-region discussed and brainstormed on the need to invest fully into this sector.
Badji Samba, a participant from Africa Check in Senegal stressed that since access to information is key in the field of investigative journalism, it was also important that whistleblowers are protected. This according to him will enable such people build confidence in the people they give important information to.
It was mentioned that politicians and some influential people had taken control of media space and content. This development, the participants said will have some repercussion on press freedoms.
The Programme Manager for MFWA, Abigail Larbi stated that currently her outfit does not have a fund aimed at supporting investigative reporters to carry out with their works. She, however mentioned that her office gives some form of resources to journalists who have identified an area of interest and wish to pursue further.
By Dundas Whigham