By Motunrayo Alaka
The Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusion, and Accountability project (C-Media or The Collaborative Media Project), a three-year programme supported by the MacArthur Foundation works with 26 select organisations to execute investigative stories at the grassroots level, unmask institutional and regulatory failures at the sub-national levels in Nigeria and the private sectors, and pay attention to under-reported issues, places, and people.
The programme started with an inception meeting, proposal submission and review exercise and a two-day onboarding meeting for the 26 media and media support organisations, most of whom have started their interventions.
At the onboarding meeting held on 28th and 29th March, 2022, Kole Shettima, Director, MacArthur Foundation Africa Office, explained the importance of an independent media to the sustenance of democracy and development of Nigeria. He noted that MacArthur’s decision to partner with the organisations was tied to the need for accountability at the subnational levels and the importance of investigative journalism.
WSCIJ used the opportunity of the meeting to train all the partners on monitoring, evaluation and learning, project planning, implementation, and reporting, keeping safe while doing data-driven, accountability and investigative journalism, follow-up reporting strategy, intentional inclusion, ethics, and professionalism in journalism (including safe spaces and sexual harassment), building coalitions and mental health.
The partners are set to help the project achieve its aim. WikkiTimes Media and Publishing Limited will empower local independent news outlets to hold public office holders accountable at grassroots levels within Bauchi State, Media Rights Agenda will train journalists on the use of Freedom of Information Act, and champion media freedom and safety of journalists. Gender Strategy Advancement International, will conduct training and stories on women and persons with disability.
On its part, African Women in the Media (AWiM) will focus on Gender and Sexual Based Violence. Stallion Times Media Services Limited will lead participatory governance and media rights with training sessions on ethics of journalism, conflict reporting, budget monitoring, and the effective use of social media to source data. Foundation for Investigative Journalism and Social Justice (FIJ) will conduct investigative stories and train reporters on accountability at the subnational levels. Yerwa Express-News (Limited) will support journalists to report governance and build their capacity within their region to do data stories and fact checks while Keeping it Real with Adeola (KIRWA) will focus on telling the story of marginalised people.
Other partners doing equally great things are Xchange Hama Media Services Limited, the Interactive Initiative for Social Impact, Safer-Media Initiative, Penlight Centre for New Media Innovations, Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, Contest Communications Limited, Foreword Communications Limited, International Centre for Development Reporting and Image Merchant Promotions Limited.
Kanem Press, Frontfoot Media Initiative, Fridabs Solacebase Communications Nigeria Limited, Boost Communication Nigeria Limited, Afritel Multimedia Limited, African Centre for Transparency, Africa Centre for Development Journalism, AD4 Communications Limited and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals complete the list of the 26 media organisations.
Motunrayo Alaka is Executive Director/CEO Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ)