Africa: Journalists, Scholars Brainstorm On Practice of Investigative Journalism in Africa

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Press, media, cameras
28 October 2019

The African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC) has kicked off in Johannesburg, South Africa, with about 300 participants from around the world.

Journalists, media scholars and students are attending the conference from Monday at the University of Witwatersrand.

Now in its 15th year, the conference this year assembles 90 speakers who will be addressing 62 sessions lined up over three days.

In his opening address, Anton Harber, the chief convener of the conference, said the time is good to discuss investigative journalism in view of happenings around the continent.

He described reported attacks on journalists and other civic actors as an opportunity to reassess the place of investigative journalism in Africa.

Journalism under threat

Speakers at the opening plenary paint picture of hope and despair for investigative journalism in Africa.

Adriaan Basson, editor-in-chief of South African News24 and Dapo Olorunyomi, publisher of PREMIUM TIMES, expressed worry about attacks on journalists and emasculation of free speech.

Both were however unanimous in noting the rise of investigative journalism, in spite of the threats.

Mr Olorunyomi said despite escalating cases of press attack in Nigeria, resilience is found in the decision of newsrooms in the country to increasingly become more investigative.

Dorothy Otieno, the data editor of Nation media group in Kenya, said using data to tell stories, organisations like hers intend to give graphic picture of social inequalities.

She said data use also means journalists are on the trail of fake news and misinformation, describing it as a continuous challenge for journalists in Kenya and elsewhere.

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