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The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), a nonprofit news agency, has organised a two-day Human Rights Accountability Reporting training for journalists based in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The training was put in place in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) with its global headquarters in London, and was held at AES Luxury Apartments, Abuja, on Wednesday and Thursday.
The facilitators were Dayo Aiyetan, founding Executive Director of ICIR, and Richard Akinnola, publisher of the Media Law Journal and Executive Director of the Media Law Centre.
The trainees were drawn from Premium Times, The Cable, The Nation, Daily Trust, Guardian, Punch, Oak TV, among other media organisations, both print and broadcast.
While Aiyetan trained the journalists the process of investigative journalism, ethics of journalism, conflict-sensitive reporting and safety, Akinnola exposed them to the rubrics of international law and human rights, landscape of human rights in Nigeria, reporting on vulnerable groups, and tapping sources for human rights reporting.
Chinedu Asadu, a reporter from The Cable online newspaper, told the ICIR that the programme met his expectations.
“There are expert advice and opinions on burning issues regarding reportage of human right and how best to stay out of trouble while on it,” he said. “Personally, I have gained more insights on how to do proper investigations both on human rights and other issues.”
Bolanle Olabimtan, judicial correspondent of Oak TV, also said the programme exceeded her expectations and expressed hope that a lot is going to change, from that time on, in the way she does her reporting.
Ameh Ejekwonyilo, Judicial Authority at Authority Newspaper, described the training as impactful and said “it afforded participants the opportunity to sharpen our investigative reporting skills”.
“In all, the training was a huge successful and we look forward to doing some groundbreaking critical reporting,” he added.
Thomas Baker, IWPR Programmes Coordinator expressed his conviction about the power of investigative journalism as a tool for social change, and encouraged participants to collaborate with civil society organisations in order to produce reports with greater impact.
He also urged the participants, not only to turn in investigative stories for the project, but also to make investigation the core of their work ethic.