Develop Nigeria with investigative journalism, experts urge campus journalists
As part of efforts to rid the country of corruption, campus journalists in Nigeria have been urged to focus more on investigative journalism.
The charge was given by resource persons at the second edition of the I-79 Media Consults webinar for campus journalists themed ‘The Dynamics of Journalism in the 21st Century’.
One of the facilitators and South-West Editor of Business Day newspaper, Razaq Ayinla, noted that developmental journalists are not friends to constituted authorities anywhere in the world because they tend to expose what authorities want to keep concealed.
This, he noted, may expose such journalists to risk, but that the journalist must be driven by the overall interest of the people.
Ayinla, however, stressed that “wisdom, professionalism, strict ethical standard, incorruptibility and God-direction” are required to excel in pursuing sound and balanced developmental journalism.
“Policymakers are government, and in Africa, it is as if we are cursed; nobody in power wants to do good. They will have one or two things they want concealed, to the detrimental of the people’s development. That is what developmental journalism is expected to unravel.
“(The developmental journalist) should set agenda, having undertaken critical public policy analysis to determine the good, the bad and the ugly of the policy from the formulation, implementation and appraisal stage,” he said.
Freelance investigative journalist and director of Campus Press Hub, Kabir Adejumo, urged the campus journalists to allow their passion to improve the lives of the people drive them to write great reports that will help change lives.
Adejumo said, “Public interest should be the first and the last motivation; the need to always tell good stories regardless of the law.”
He told the aspiring investigative journalists that the best place to discover themselves is on campus.
He said: “Stories are everywhere. The moment people know that you have integrity, they will bring you stories and all that will be left for you is verification.
“Intimidation is everywhere. Even when you graduate, the government will intimidate you. Just be sure you are factual, and balance all your reports.
“I started doing stories with my pocket money. With time, you can pitch your story ideas to funders like PTCIJ, WSCIJ, and many more for assistance.”
Digital media editor and content marketing expert, Seyi Gesinde, said: “Comply with the principles on ethics and develop your skills on the job. Write good and competitive stories that can fetch you awards, and live healthily. You will be successful.
“Go for fellowship. Apply for grants to write stories. These days, journalists are legally sponsored to do investigative stories and they are paid well. Also, have a good command of English language or any language you use for communication, because that is your first tool.”
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