CIPC organizes capacity building for journalists on anti-corruption reporting

THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) held a two-day training workshop for journalists on how to report anti-corruption issues.

The program was held at the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), Keffi, Nasarawa State.

President of ICPC, Bolaji Owasanoye, while virtually welcoming attendees to the event, asserted that investigative journalism is key to holding the government to account.

“Investigative journalism is one of the growing branches of journalism with the potential to contribute not only to the anti-corruption effort, but also to governance.”

He, however, accused some media houses of partisanship and urged everyone present to be fair.

“There are media that are decidedly partisan, and they don’t hide it, and there is freedom of association anyway; what I think the standard request is to be fair to all sides.

“Fortunately, the mainstream media cannot be accused of being entrenched in this endemic problem; it’s more about emergency journalists on social media spreading a lot of … but sometimes the mainstream media falls into that line.

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He said credible and diligent investigation takes time, as does qualitative investigative journalism.

Also speaking at the event was the Provost Anti-Corruption Agency of Nigeria (ACAN). Olatunde Babawale, a professor, said journalists, who constitute the kingdom’s fourth estate, are strategic partners in the fight against corruption.

“Given its strategic position as the kingdom’s fourth estate within a democratic framework, the media is meant to be an instrument of transparency, probity and accountability in society and a true partner in the war against corruption,” he said. -he declares.

Other resource persons present at the workshop include Director of Education and Public Information at CIPC, Ashiru Baba, Director and Head of Corruption Tracking Assessment Department; Mr. Akeem Lawal, Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director of the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) and Ali Yusuf of the Nation newspaper, among others.

The two-day capacity building workshop aims to empower the media as key players in the fight against corruption and other related offenses that have become endemic.

All resource persons agreed on the importance of journalists in the fight against corruption. They also underscored the need for a lasting partnership between anti-corruption agencies and the media to succeed in the fight against corruption that has permeated the nation, while urging journalists to always ensure their facts are accurate. The group warned that unverified, false or biased reporting can lead to multiple defamation lawsuits.

The forum also reiterated that the interrelationship between media and society must be maintained, emphasizing that the close relationship is essential for information sharing, mobilization and agenda setting in the fight against corruption.

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Aiyetan, in particular, stressed the need for investigative journalists to focus on reporting in the public interest and to prioritize research as a key step in the investigative reporting process.

Jennifer C. Burleigh