Best of West African investigative journalists gather in Senegal

In line with its mandate of building the capacity of investigative journalists in Africa, the Forum of African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) will host its annual regional West African conference from 16 to 18 April 2012 in Dakar, Senegal, in partnership with Dakar’s School of Journalism, Digital Media and Communication (E-jicom).

Funded by the Open Society Institute (OSI), the conference will focus on the role of ICT’s in supporting and improving investigative journalism and how to meet the demands of reporting in difficult conditions with limited resources. The meeting will bring together about 30 media professionals from 9 west African countries. Local partner E-jicom will facilitate practical sessions on new media and online research.

Investigative Journalism is not yet entrenched in most media outlets across Africa, but those who have devoted their practice to it have a tough and sometimes deadly battle to fight.  FAIR believes the needs and demands placed on investigative journalists in Africa are growing, and journalists should be ready to meet new challenges.

The event aims to build on team investigations and partnerships, and to showcase the best of this years’ West African investigative stories.  Reputed West African investigative journalists, like Anas Aremeyaw Anas (undercover) and Musikilu Mojeed (crowd sourcing) will present their cases, methods and results. New bright rolemodels will present ‘hot’ investigations into terrorism issues in Nigeria and the Sahel, unfair aspects of ‘fair trade’ in Ivory Coast, a farewell to the monetary economy in Cameroon, organ traffic in Benin and female genital mutilation in Liberia.

In Dakar, they will all interact with the best of Senegal’s investigative journalists, and discuss how to use modern technologies for even more comprehensive and in-depth investigations. All this to achieve a common purpose: ever more quality and quantity in investigative journalism in West Africa.

Specific objectives include:
•      To aid journalists in understanding new tools and resources for pursuing investigations;
•      To encourage relationships and networking with like-minded journalists throughout the region;
•      To illustrate how technology serves the readers’ information needs.

The conference programme and speaker presentations will be available on the FAIR website, www.fairreporters.org . Daily updates will be communicated via Twitter #fairreporters.

* For more information please contact Abdullah Vawda, Executive Director, FAIR, Tel: +27 73 841 5046, or email: avawda2@gmail.com


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