The Centre for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ) and the Cell Norbert Zongo Centre for Investigative Journalism in West Africa (CENOZO) have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on strengthening investigative journalism and enhancing media capacity in West Africa.
A joint statement by the two organisations said the partnership intends to facilitate joint investigative projects, skill-building initiatives, and the exchange of resources among journalists and editors across the sub-region.
Signed on 25 August, the statement said the collaboration underscores a commitment to mutual cooperation with an emphasis on transnational investigations, shared knowledge, training programmes, co-publications, and the advancement of journalism activities among their respective members.
By joining forces, CCIJ and CENOZO said, they aim to elevate the standard of investigative journalism by undertaking comprehensive cross-border investigations on topics of common concern.
The two organisations pledge to maintain an active and consistent collaboration seeking to foster excellence in the field and contribute to the establishment of more transparent and equitable societies.
The partnership also aims to foster solidarity between members by promoting shared surveys for publication, thereby maximising the reach and impact of crucial issues, the statement read.
Additionally, the collaboration seeks to identify opportunities for combined funding for cross-border investigative projects and the development of specialised resources catering to investigative journalism.
“The organisations are also set to engage with other entities invested in strengthening investigative journalism across West Africa. This broader cooperation aims to cultivate an environment conducive to press freedom and the promotion of integrity in public affairs,” the statement added.
CCIJ Executive Director Jeff Lowenstein expressed enthusiasm about the partnership. “I’m excited about what will come from our joint efforts,” Mr Lowenstein said.
On his part, CENOZO Board President David Dembélé emphasised the organisations’ joint commitment to combat corruption and poor governance through a united front.
“We know that financial delinquents and other apostles of bad governance have connections and structures with ramifications far beyond our states,” Mr Dembélé said, adding, “That is why it is important for us to work together to fight every shade and/or appearance of these unhealthy governance practices within our countries, our sub-region, and globally.”
“CENOZO is, therefore, more than excited to join forces with CCIJ to expose and denounce these evil practices with everything we have.”
Established in Burkina Faso in 2015, CENOZO is dedicated to fostering the capacities of investigative journalists through training, mentoring, grants, and networking. Their association welcomes investigative journalists from across West Africa who have demonstrated a dedication to the field.
Meanwhile, CCIJ is a not-for-profit news organisation with a global focus on investigative reporting that leads to accountability and solutions. CCIJ is dedicated to orchestrating and spearheading worldwide investigations with a foundation in strategic mentorship.
Its mission revolves around nurturing a form of collaborative journalism that places captivating visual narratives, thorough investigative journalism, and cutting-edge data science on equal footing from the beginning of projects. Through this disciplinary synergy, the organisation believes they can craft a distinctive narrative approach that shines a spotlight on underrepresented communities.
The partnership between CCIJ and CENOZO not only promises to elevate the standards of investigative journalism in the West African region but also exemplifies a collaborative approach to addressing issues of corruption, impunity, and governance challenges that transcend national borders, the statement concluded.
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