THE Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ) and the Cell Norbert Zongo for Investigative Journalism in West Africa (CENOZO) have signed a joint commitment, to bolster investigative journalism and enhance media capacity in the West African region, with emphasis on transnational investigations and co-publications, among others.
The partnership, sealed on August 25, is poised to usher in a new era of collaborative journalism across the region through skill-building initiatives and the exchange of resources among journalists and editors across the sub-region.
A joint statement released by CCIJ and CENOZO on Thursday, August 31, said the accord underscored a commitment to cooperation, shared knowledge, training programmes, co-publications, and advancing journalism activities among their members.
CCIJ, a non-profit news organisation with a global focus on investigative reporting that leads to accountability and solutions, boasts of orchestrating worldwide investigations with a foundation in strategic mentorship, aiming to elevate underrepresented communities’ stories.
Established in Burkina Faso in 2015, CENOZO is dedicated to fostering the capacities of investigative journalists through training, mentoring, grants, and networking.
By pooling their resources and expertise, CCIJ and CENOZO aspire to elevate the standard of investigative journalism, particularly by undertaking comprehensive cross-border investigations on issues of common concern.
Both organisations pledged to maintain an active and consistent collaboration, fostering excellence in the field and contributing to creating more transparent and equitable societies.
“The partnership also aims to foster solidarity between members by promoting shared surveys for publication, thereby maximising the reach and impact of crucial issues. Additionally, the collaboration seeks to identify opportunities for combined funding for cross-border investigative projects and the development of specialised resources catering to investigative journalism,” the statement added.
The organisations are also set to engage with other entities invested in strengthening investigative journalism across West Africa. This broader cooperation aims to cultivate an environment conducive to press freedom and the promotion of integrity in public affairs,” the statement added.
CCIJ Executive Director Jeff Kelly Lowenstein expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, lauding CENOZO’s integrity and investigative prowess. “I’m excited about what will come from our joint efforts, Lowenstein said.
CENOZO Board President David Dembélé emphasised the two organisations’ commitment to combat corruption and poor governance through a united front. “We know that financial delinquents and other apostles of bad governance have connections and structures with ramifications far beyond our states,” Dembele said.
While expressing delight to join forces with CCIJ, Dembele added that the collaboration was important in fighting every shade and/or appearance of unhealthy governance practices within African countries and the world.
“The partnership between CCIJ and CENOZO not only promises to elevate the standards of investigative journalism in the West African region but also exemplifies a collaborative approach to addressing issues of corruption, impunity, and governance challenges that transcend national borders,” the statement added.