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MacArthur gives over $6.3 million to ICIR, PTCIJ, others to tackle corruption


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IN SUPPORT of projects that promote accountability and address corruption, the MacArthur Foundation has announced that it is giving a grant of over $6.3 million to nine media organisations including The ICIR.

In a statement made public on Wednesday, the private foundation, which funds non-profits in about 40 countries, said the grant is part of its project that supports work by media organisations “that strengthen accountability, transparency, and civic participation”.

Other beneficiaries are Bayero University Kano (BUK), Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation, Daily Trust Foundation, OYA Media, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, Sahara Reporters, Tiger Eye Social Foundation, and Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism.

These organisations, MacArthur Foundation Nigeria Office Director Kole Shettima noted, have shown that citizens, media and civil society groups have a crucial role to play in fighting corruption and holding government accountable.

Among other things, the grant will generally aid investigative and data-driven journalism, help establish a television station at BUK, and fund town hall meetings between government officials and citizens.

Below is the full press release:

$6.3 Million in Journalism and Media Grants to Advance Accountability and Anti-Corruption Efforts in Nigeria

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MacArthur announced today more than $6.3 million in journalism and media funding to advance anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria. The grants are part of the Foundation’s On Nigeria grantmaking, which seeks to reduce corruption by supporting Nigerian-led efforts that strengthen accountability, transparency, and civic participation.

The nine grants announced today are a continuation of the Foundation’s efforts to strengthen investigative and data-driven journalism in Nigeria and to reinforce the role played by independent media and citizens in revealing and documenting corruption. The grants will support a range of projects, including trainings for journalists on investigative fieldwork and data-driven reporting, assistance for independent media organisations working to develop sustainable business models, and new broadcast platforms to increase the reach and effectiveness of investigative reports.

“These organisations have proven that media, citizens, and advocates can play an important watchdog role to guard against corruption in Nigeria,” said Kole Shettima, MacArthur Foundation Nigeria Office Director. “With this continued support of key journalism and media organisations we hope to strengthen transparency, empower independent voices, and hold authorities to account.”

Following is a list of grants announced today:

  • Bayero University, Kano (Kano): To enhance training, curriculum, teaching, and learning opportunities for the next generation of investigative journalists; and to establish a TV-station.
  • Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation (Lagos): To support its Policy Radar Initiative and the investigative reports it produces; mobilise community action around its findings; and use social media and video to reach a broad audience.
  • Daily Trust Foundation (Abuja): To strengthen the capacity of journalists, media professionals, and students to conduct high quality investigative and data-driven journalism.
  • International Centre for Investigative Reporting (Abuja): To support in-depth field investigations and convene townhall meetings with government officials and anti-corruption agency representatives to answer questions from the public.
  • OYA Media (Lagos): To conduct high-quality investigative reports and present them in a talk show format that will bring policymakers and citizens together to discuss issues and possible solutions.
  • Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (Abuja): To conduct investigations on budget, procurement, and government service delivery; to expand fact-checking operations for journalists, and continue building civic technology for citizens and journalists to collaboratively learn and produce multimedia reports related to corruption.
  • Sahara Reporters (Lagos): To train journalists on investigative and data-based journalism; support investigations into the education sector, and continue a civic media laboratory to engage citizens in public dialogue on corruption and other social issues.
  • Tiger Eye Social Foundation (Accra, Ghana): To strengthen investigative capacity of Nigerian media by training journalists in investigative techniques and supporting field investigations on corruption.
  • Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (Lagos): To continue its investigative reporting on corruption in the education and electricity sectors; design sustainable reporting models for that reporting; and develop a radio show to improve reach and impact of stories.

Strategic priorities of the Foundation’s On Nigeria grantmaking include reducing corruption in the electricity and education sectors; strengthening the criminal justice system through nationwide implementation and enforcement of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and complementary laws and policies; and supporting media and journalism to expose corruption and share information about anticorruption efforts. The grants announced today are intended to support this work by building and strengthening a system of accountability journalism in the country.

The Foundation also supports key government effectiveness initiatives, including the implementation of the 2015 Administration of Criminal Justice Act. MacArthur has been making grants in Nigeria since 1989, opening an office in Abuja in 1994 staffed by Nigerians. 

'Kunle works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] or, if you're feeling particularly generous, follow him on Twitter @KunleBajo.

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