By Joseph Edegbo –
In keeping with the Memorandum Of Understanding with the Kaduna State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, the Africa Media Development Foundation, AMDF
on Tuesday organized a training session on Investigative Reporting for members of the Union drawn from various media organisations.
An insightful session, the participants were kept abreast with various aspects of Investigative Reporting, Generating Story Ideas and Interviewing Techniques.
The Executive Director, Africa Media Development Foundation, AMDF Mr. Iliya Kure informed the participants that the training was to strengthen their capacity on Investigative journalism which is meant for only those who are careful and curious on the job.
“It is not an area for any lazy journalist”, he asserted.
A core investigative journalist, he emphasized, must have a solid base to identify, acquire and verify various sources of information and never compromise on the basic ethical principles of journalism.
Mr. Kure also spelt out necessary skills required of an investigative journalist such as accuracy, critical thinking and ability to split attention on more than one thing at the same time.
Ability to ask questions, research, legal and law of defamation as well as legal defense are also very important.
He assured the participants that AMDF’s doors are always opened for interaction, hence the need for journalists to feel free to come around, assuring them that a lot of opportunities are abound either locally or internationally for those who are serious on the job
Speaking on Story Ideas, the Deputy Director, AMDF, Mrs Sekyen Dadik said a journalist must be creative and mentally ready at all times and keep an Idea File by organizing his ideas , writing them down and clipped.
“Have a child- like curiosity by having a questioning nature, which means you will never running out of things to write about.
“There are tons of stories awaiting to be reported, you just have to know how to find them.
She said journalists are meant to be the eyes and ears of the people by being every where all the time, You will get at least, One story or more at every event you attend, She said.
On Interviewing Techniques, Mrs Dadik told the participants that interviewing is a vital skill for any journalist.
” It is one of the most important ways to gather information and create content for a story”.
First of all, she said, One should obtain the interviewee’s knowledge about the topic and which goals being aimed at.
“Be friendly and courteous, but remember you have a job to do. Avoid personal questions. Ask specific thought-provoking questions and avoid Yes or No questions.
“Obtain all the information you need before conducting the interview and never agree to let the interviewee read the story before publishing.
“The ability to ask open ended question is very important in any interview to encourage a full meaning answer using the subject own knowledge or feelings. It is the opposite of a closed ended question which encourages a short or single word answer”, she warned
Other tips listed, include showing empathy while covering sensitive or
Mrs Dadik reminded the participants that interviewing is very closely associated with psychology and that the better they understand how people think, the better they will be able to extract their thoughts from an interview.
In a closing remark, the NUJ Kaduna Council Chairman, Hajia Asmau Yawo Haliru, represented by the Financial Secretary, Mr Noah Ebije spoke on the importance of investigative journalism which participants should not overlook.
He praised the AMDF for the training saying it would not only benefit the participants, but their respective organizations.
The training, was the second to be conducted for the Union by the AMDF after that of Exco members held about months ago under the MOU .