Sub-Saharan investigatives train Zimbabwean journalists

October 14, 2020

Staff Reporter

Information for Development Trust (IDT) recently enlisted the help of investigatives from Sub-Saharan Africa to train Zimbabwean journalists participating in its programming.

Since 2016, IDT—a member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) and Harare-based non-profit organisation—has been providing story production grants, mentorship and training to Zimbabwean journalists investigating corruption and bad governance.

Award-winning Herbert Benon Oluka, the GIJN Africa Editor based in Uganda, trained the 10 freelance and newsroom-based investigatives on using multi-media methods to produce and present stories through a virtual seminar.

The training was conducted with support from the International Media Support (IMS) and the FOJO Media Institute.

Purity Mukami, an open source investigations, data scientist and fact-checker attached to Africa Uncensored in Kenya, presented a well-received slot on data reporting and digital security, mostly basing her training on personal experiences.

The trainees, mainly from the privately-owned The Standard and The Zimbabwe Independent media outlets, acknowledged that they had gained new skills and knowledge that would help them in their investigations.

“We hope to have more of these training seminars so that we can gain more value from our local and African colleagues who have distinguished themselves in the area of investigative journalism,” Everson Mushava, the news editor at The Standard, said.

Oluka and Mukami presented on the second day of the workshop and several journalists connected with them after the seminar so as to get further information and guidance on the stories they were producing.

On the first day, a former editor of several national publications who is currently working as a media consultant, Nevanji Madanhire, trained some of Zimbabwe’s finest investigatives on investigative journalism ethics and pitching winning stories.

Faith Zaba, The Zimbabwe Independent’s current editor and a mentor under the IDT project, took the journalists back to the basics of investigative reporting and contrasted it with other journalistic genre, in addition to information gathering techniques, while Kolwani Nyathi, the editor of The Standard, presented on enhancing story impact through social media.

The IDT national coordinator, Tawanda Majoni, noted that Zimbabwean investigatives were yet to fully embrace data journalism and multi-media methods in story production and presentation.

“Going forward, we need to see more data and multi-media methods in our investigative journalism. Without that, we stand the danger of being left behind. The traditional long form is dying slowly and we must labour with how to harness impact from our work,” Majoni said at the beginning of the two-day seminar.

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