Journalists Urged To Beam Searchlight On Cases Of Abuse

By Denen Achussah

Journalists have been urged to beam their investigative searchlight on social, economic and cultural dimensions of abuse and abnormalities in the society. Iduh Onah, Editor-in-Chief of National Record, gave the charge after the closing ceremony of a two-day Training/Capacity Workshop on Investigative Journalism at De-George’s Grand Resort, Jikwoyi, Abuja.

The workshop, organised by National Record with support from the McArthur Foundation through the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) seeks to achieve collaborative media engagement for development inclusivity and accountability as a multi-level intervention for media independence to hold government at all levels, public servants, private organisations and individuals in positions of authority accountable for their actions and inactions.

Iduh explained that the focus of the workshop was to “tracking and investigating labour-related Issues: Workplace sexual abuse/harassment and abuse of rights of marginalised groups by public and private entities as well as harmful environmental activities of national and multinational corporations in local communities of (Nigeria’s) Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Benue and Kogi States.

“Under this project, we have the mandate to engage in careful investigation of child labour, workplace abuse of rights, sexual harassment, abuse of rights of people with disabilities, unfair labour or precarious labour practices by organisations – whether public or private, and in some cases, the investigation of acts of individuals considered exceptionally good and humanitarian in nature.”

He therefore, urged journalists to step up investigative journalism due to its impactful nature of exposing “things and issues that influential people in positions of authority and powerful organisations struggle to keep secret.”

According to Iduh, doing so can orchestrate policy change and lead to positive change in communities.

In his remarks, John Odah, Consultant to the project commended the publishers of National Record and the WSCIJ for organising the workshop. Onah was represented by Theresa Abah, Programme Officer of Contest Communications Limited.

He described the workshop as “timely and commendable,” while expressing the hope that it will give National Record a desired edge over other media organisations in covering labour issues.

According to Onah, participants will sure benefit from the training and improve on their practice.

Participants were taken through current trends in the field of investigative reporting, the ethical nuances, the mapping, and the pitching of stories as well as ensuring security during investigative reporting among others, by resource persons.

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