ICIR, IBP train 20 journalists on SPARK 2 project

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By Ibukun Emiola

The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), with support from the International Budget Partnership (IBP), on Wednesday in Abuja began a two-day training for journalists selected for its fellowship.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the investigative journalism training is tagged “Strengthening Public Accountability for Results and Knowledge (SPARK 2), a project with focus on health and agriculture.

In his address, the Executive Director of ICIR, Mr Dayo Aiyetan, said investigative journalism which would be impactful should be evidence-based.

He also stressed the importance of contextual data and research in bringing out the relevance of the story to address societal issues.

“Research provides you the information, data and other materials you build your investigation on. It helps you achieve hypothesis.

“It helps you organise your thoughts and develop a story plan, determine who to talk to, where to look, where to go. Research helps develop a foolproof security risk assessment.

“It provides you information about what has been reported before. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” Aiyetan said.

In her remarks, the IBP Country Director, Dr Olayinka Babalola, said journalists are the conscience of the nation, adding that their reports could engender change in the society.

She emphasised the need for systematic reporting on issues affecting the country.

Also, the Programme Coordinator of Small-scale Women Farmers’ Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Ogechi Okebugwu, urged journalists to give more support to stories about the plight of women farmers.

She highlighted peculiar issues confronting small-holder women farmers, such as lack of gender-friendly equipment and timely intervention of inputs.

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Earlier, the ICIR Programme Officer, Ayisat Abiona, had said the programme was to build the capacity of journalists on investigative and impactful reporting which could hold people in government accountable.(NAN)

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(Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and Olawale Alabi)

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