First phase (2012-2014)
Speaking during an Investigative Journalism Workshop held in Cape Town, South Africa for Bush Radio, Radio Atlantis and Valley FM from 7-11 September 2015, presenters from various Non-Governmental Organisations said community reporters should unearth the truth that is normally hidden by people in positions of authority.
Some of the community reporters who were trained in investigative journalism
Bush Radio Station Manager, Ms. Brenda Leonard (left) hands over a certificate of participation to Ms Rachel Georgia of Radio Atlantis
Journalists and news correspondents from three South African community radios were urged to conduct more investigative journalism to ensure that members of public get to know the truth about what is happening in their communities.
Speakers from Corruption Watch, Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG), Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) and Black Sash said journalists should fulfil their watchdog role and expose corruption, wrongdoing, impropriety, criminality, failures of officials, systems, policies, abuse of power, wasteful spending, injustice and misery, and uneven relationships.
The Organisations also pledged to work closely with the community radio so that members of the public are made aware of everything that affects them. Participants were also apprised of the level of corruption in South Africa, trends and implications for ordinary citizens.
The training workshop also equipped journalists and correspondents with an understanding of investigative journalism and how it differs to and complements conventional news reporting. It also introduced participants to basic skills, knowledge and attitude required in doing investigative journalism. Participants also explored different methods and tools that they can be use in investigative journalism.
Media ethics and laws that impact on investigative journalism were also discussed. Importantly, it was emphasised that journalists should always strive to seek the truth and report it knowing that their loyalty is always to the citizens. Journalists were encouraged to act independently, transparently, minimising harm and being ac-countable in the discharge of their duties.
Participants expressed satisfaction with the training describing it as an eye-opener.
The workshop was organised within the framework of the UNESCO/SIDA project, “Empowering local radios with ICTs. The project seeks to strengthen local radios to produce quality and locally relevant content among other things.