Focus on investigative journalism as a tool to develop Nigeria, experts urge campus journalists


As part of efforts to rid the country, particularly the education sector of corruption, campus journalists in Nigeria have been urged to focus more on investigative journalism.

This charge was given on the heels of the corruption that has eaten deep into the annals of the country, by experts during the second edition of the I-79 Media Consults Webinar for Campus Journalists themed The Dynamics of Journalism in the 21st Century.

They, however, warned that in doing the work, they should have the need to cause good and great change at heart.

One of the facilitators and South-West Editor of Business Day Newspaper, Razaq Ayinla, said: “It must be stated that developmental journalism and developmental journalists are not friends to the constituted authorities anywhere in the world because they tend to expose and touch the untouchables.

Hence, he said, the life of such a journalist is not safe but it is a must to stand against any acts that are capable of dehumanizing, pauperising, putting unnecessary burdens on the people no matter what it costs, not minding the sell-out attitude of some media owners or proponents of money-bag journalism among us.

In the final analysis, Ayinla, said wisdom, professionalism, strict ethics, incorruptibility and God-direction are required to excel in pursuing sound and balanced developmental journalism for humanity.

“The policymakers are people in government and in Africa, it is as if we are cursed, nobody in power wants to do good, they will have one or two things to cover which is detrimental to people’s development. That is what developmental journalism is expected to unravel and set media agenda, having undertaken critical public policy analysis to determine the good, the bad and the ugly of the policy from the formulation, implementation and appraisal stage.

“Developmental journalism is what we need in Nigeria to get out of age-long rots in the economy, politics, and socio-cultural wellbeing of the people.”

In his own submission, a freelance investigative journalist and director of Campus Press Hub, Kabir Adejumo, urged the campus journalists to allow their passion to improve the lives of the people drive them to write great reports that will help change their lives.

ALSO READ: Nigerian appointed to fight COVID-19 in Sierra Leone with 100% salary increase

Adejumo said: “Public interest first and last. The need to always tell good stories regardless of the law. Public interest should be the reason to cope.

“Stories are everywhere and the best place to discover yourself as an investigative journalist is your campus. Stories are everywhere. The moment people know that you have integrity, they will bring you stories and all that will be left for you is verification.

“Intimidation is everywhere, even when you graduate, the government will intimidate you. Just be sure you are factual and balance all your reports, the is history. No serious tertiary institution suspends journalists more than a session.

“On economic hardship, I started doing stories with my pocket money. With time you can pitch your stories ideas to funders like PTCIJ, WSCIJ, and many more for assistance. Bright. Campus Journalists are doing unimaginable things. I can’t wait to see great guys exposing as many as possible irregularities. You can kill the writer of truth; you can’t kill the truth.”

A digital media editor and content marketing expert, Seyi Gesinde, also enlightening on Ethical Considerations in Online/Digital Journalism, said it is paramount for every professional journalist to “Comply with the principles on ethics and develop your skills on the job, write good and competitive stories that can fetch you awards, and live healthily, you will be successful.”

“Go for fellowship. Apply for grants to write stories. These days, journalists are legally sponsored to do investigative stories and they are paid well. Also, have a good command of English language, or write well in any language you use for communications because that is your first tool, you will go far and be a success.

“These days, there are online media that even prefer to recruit youthful online journalists because of their agility and mental alertness. Begin by writing opinion articles on topical issues for them. Once they know you have a good line of thought, and potential for the job, you have already scaled a lot of hurdles to being employed.”

He also adminished journalists to be proactive and ensure they respond to  breaking story to keep their audience up to date with information around them.