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Nigerian media organisations asked to invest in accountability journalism

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NIGERIAN Media organisations have been advised to invest heavily in grassroots accountability journalism.

This was disclosed in a communique released at the end of Wikkitimes maiden colloquium themed ‘News desert: Sustaining democracy through fearless grassroots accountability journalism’, held in Gombe on Saturday, November 26.

According to the communique, signed by Haruna Mohammed Salisu, Publisher/CEO Wikkitimes, failure to invest in accountability journalism will turn media organisations into willing tools for politicians.

The communique also noted that there is need for media houses to have the needed expertise and knowledge of latest technologies in order to overcome contemporary challenges.

“The Nigerian legacy media must invest heavily in grassroots accountability journalism, the failure of which will relegate them as tools for politicians to exploit.

“The Nigerian media must strongly invest in newer technologies for them to compete favourably. Media technology and reporting tools are evolving, hence the need to have the needed expertise and knowledge of these technologies to stymie contemporary challenges. 

“Building trust, credibility and believability between media organisations and its audience is critical if the media must remain relevant in the business,” the communique said.

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The communique further stressed the need for media organisations to embrace collaborative work on investigative journalism to hold the government accountable.

“For effective and deeper penetration, news outlets must adopt multiple means of disseminating information in view of the changing pattern of media consumption.

“Stories should be presented in a multimedia format to allow readers make choices as to how they want to engage with media content; Moreso, because of the idea that audio-visuals summarize and illustrate news stories for easy understanding among readers.

“Media outlets must not ignore grassroots journalism; local actors at local levels must equally be held accountable

“Publishers and owners of broadcast stations must make deliberate attempts at training and re-training employees to meet up with current changes in ways of reporting and news presentation.

“Practicing accountability journalism demands a lot of patience, time and resources. This underscores why journalists who subscribed to this brand of journalism must be fearless, brutal and above all careful with their facts; the terrain does not forgive the simplest of errors or ignorance.

“For Nigerian democracy to unleash appreciable progress, the media must always be ready to tell truth to power, hold leaders accountable and mobilize the citizens for national integration,” the communique added.

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Speakers at the colloquium include Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, CEO and Founder of Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ), Professor Umaru Pate, Vice-Chancellor Federal University, Kashere Gombe State, CCIJ Africa Editor, Ajibola Amzat; International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) Editor Victoria Bamas; Chief Lecturer Department of Mass Communication Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Dr Hamid Adamu Muhammad; and Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of Solacebase, Abdulateef Abubakar.

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Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: umustapha@icirnigeria.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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