Journalists must have upper hand in graft fight

The media should champion the fight against corruption that remains the most daunting challenge to good governance, sustainable economic growth, peace, stability, and development in Africa.

The media should champion the fight against corruption that remains the most daunting challenge to good governance, sustainable economic growth, peace, stability, and development in Africa.

The call was made by Gabriel Baglo, African Director of the Federation for African Journalists (FAJ), while opening a five-day training of trainers on Investigative Journalism and Corruption Reporting on Monday.

The training taking place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, drew more than 20 participants from 11 Eastern African countries grouped under the Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA).

The trainees are expected to train investigative reporters from their respective countries.

Baglo noted that by adopting the Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption in Maputo on July 11, 2003 that came into force in 2006, member states of the African Union (AU) had demonstrated commitment to fighting graft.

“The fact that 34 counties out of 54 have ratified the convention is proof that the African peoples and their leaders are involved with the fight against corruption,” he said.

Baglo, however, said that investigative and corruption reporting cannot take place unless the safety and right to access information are ensured.

“The African Union and partner states should show their support and good will to protect whistle blowers and journalists in the fight against corruption,” he added.

Caleb Athemi, a participant from Kenya said corruption is a cancer, adding that reporting on it requires an inner eye, general knowledge about various issues as well as upholding objectivity among others.

Participants said they are optimistic the training will boost their knowledge and skills as regards to investigating and reporting on corruption issues.

 

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