Paschal Emeka, Abuja

The Executive Director/CEO of Safer-Media Initiative Peter Iorter has stated that investigative journalism is an effective tool for national development as it holds authorities accountable both in public and private sectors and ensures inclusivity of voices on issues.
According to him, the absence of investigative journalism affects accountability, while people wallow in abject poverty, cutting deadly paths in communities especially in local communities.
Speaking during the flag off of a two day capacity building workshop for journalists in Abuja with the theme “strengthening grassroots governance and accountability reporting,” Iorter informed that Safer-Media Initiative aims to strengthen watchdog journalism, media reporting on accountability and inclusion of the most underrepresented voices, places and issues finds  the need to strengthen the capacity of journalists for in-depth  reporting on what’s working and what’s not, expose lies, abuses of power and corruption in managing public resources, lack of accountability and transparency by providing journalists with the skill set to improve their investigative reporting capacity.
He further stated that Safer-Media Initiative is implementing through the workshop interventions within its mandate to Strengthening Journalism Independence Capacity and Presence (SJ-ICAP) Project in partnership with the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), with the support from MacArthur Foundation.
He added that a survey carried out recently indicates that issues concerning grassroots especially in the local communities barely receive media attention as over 65 percent of the people sampled in the survey were dissatisfied with media coverage of activities at the grassroots.
Earlier in his opening address, the guest speaker, Prof. Abiodun Adeniyi of the Department of Mass Communication, Baze University, Abuja stressed the need for journalists to focus more on the local communities through in-depth investigative and developmental journalism.
After the training, Safer-Media Initiative is expected to provide funding to selected journalists with most acceptable story pitches to produce investigative stories.

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