No fewer than 45 journalists from South East, South South, and South West region of Nigeria has been trained on the nitty-gritty of Investigative Healthcare Reporting by the International Press Centre, IPC, Lagos.
The training was held in conjunction with US Consulate General – Lagos in Enugu State.
Speaking to the participants, the Coordinator of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said the workshop was aimed at equipping young and mid career journalist with investigative skills for reporting the healthcare system.
Presenting his lecture ” IPC Media Monitoring Report of Health Related Issues” based on survey trends in health reporting, Mr. Arogundade said that there were more reportage on stories and less investigations on health related issues.
“Most stories are published in quick news format and are not product of in-depth analysis and investigation which was a major problem, thus the series of training for journalist”.
The IPC Coordinator however advised journalist to imbibe best practices in their reports and regularly engage governance with tools that were readily available such as the freedom of information act to protect public interest.
Delivering his speech, US Consulate Public Affairs Officer Mr. Stephen Ibelli noted that there were many challenges within the health sector which was important to give people accurate information making reference to COVID-19 reports on health.
“The training was important to US Consulate as journalism was a noble profession. Journalist are the only ones who could hold leaders and government accountable via dissemination of accurate message to the public”.
Earlier in her remark, the Executive Director International Society of Media in Public Health Mrs. Moji Makanjuola who spoke on “Monitoring and Evaluation as a Key Component of Investigative Journalism” said investigative journalism was crucial for development especially in the area of raising accountability power.
According to her, media practitioners were to push the boundaries in every sphere to ensure that changes towards development goals in all sectors take place.
Also, Mr. Akin Jimoh a Project Director Development Communications Network (DEVCOMS) took turn to educate journalist on “Media Accountability and Health Care Governance”.
The two day capacity training had print media, broadcast journalistic from Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo in attendance.
Recall that the recent bill in the National Assembly seeking to regulate the activities of journalists and the press in Nigeria with the many press bodies such as NUJ and IPC kicking against it on the grounds that the bill seeks to gag the Nigerian press.
It has therefore become imperative for various press councils and bodies to continually train her members as well as produce a strong guideline on self regulation.