Workshop for journos to dig deeper


BY EMILIA PAULUS - A group of 18 journalists from various media houses and civil society organisations received hands-on investigative journalism training in Windhoek, last week. The training was held by the Namibian Media Trust (NMT) in conjunction with The Namibian Newspaper and the AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism in South Africa.

Speaking at the one-day workshop, the Executive Chairperson of the NMT, Gwen Lister, said that this initiative was just a drop in the ocean towards the advancement of the cause of good investigative journalism in Namibia.

She added that the practice of journalism is a public service, and that good reporting should positively impact people's lives and enhance their right to know.

"In this time of dwindling readership, it is incumbent upon us as journalists to enhance our professionalism, dedication and commitment to ethics in order to give deep and penetrative reporting that can make a difference in the lives of people and hopefully in the process win back public trust," she said.

The training focused on empowering participants with key skills and techniques used in investigative reporting, ranging from story selection to investigating illegal financial flows to ensuring digital security to protect sources as well as ethical reporting.

One of the participants, Okeri Ngutjinazo said that the training was an eye opener for her, while adding that the fact that the facilitator was a well-versed investigative journalist and trainer made it easy for the participants to relate to the various techniques and best practices from other countries.

Lister finally encouraged the journalists to keep honing their journalistic craft, noting that no number of workshops would help anybody unless there is a commitment and hunger to learn.

The facilitator, Micah Reddy who is an investigative journalist and trainer said journalism is a struggling industry and investigative units are often desperately under-resourced. "Collaboration between newsrooms and across borders is increasingly important in investigative journalism," he said, "I think collaborative spaces like this one are increasingly important."

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism is a non-profit company founded to develop investigative journalism in the public interest and has been very instrumental in the promotion of free media as well as open, accountable and just democracy in South Africa.