Information and media permanent secretary Kennedy Kalunga has observed that investigative journalism is the future of journalism.
And free press initiative Zambia and chief executive officer Joan Chirwa pledged to continue contributing to the improvement of investigative skills among journalist in the country.
Speaking at a showcasing event for the moto initiative women in news and current affairs under the auspices of free press initiative Zambia Kalunga called for more investments in investigative journalism training.
The free press initiative Zambia in partnership with BBC media action last year launched the moto project targeting female journalists from all parts of Zambia.
The project is aimed at improving skills of practicing Zambian women broadcast journalists in news and current affairs reporting and investigative journalism, facts checking, on-location reporting and interviewing skills.
The training was conducted over a period of eight month with a combination of face to face and remote training and mentoring sessions Kalunga furthered called on tertiary institutions providing courses to take investigative journalism mandatory.
“We further call on other media organizations and tertiary institutions offering journalism courses to include investigative reporting as it is the future of journalism. This should be a must,” he said Friday evening at Lusaka southern sun hotel.
“Maybe I should pronounce a decree as your PS for information and media. Maybe I should ask my minister to take it further that this should now be part and parcel of the training module here in Zambia.”
Kalunga described investigative journalism as the most valuable form of reporting urging stake holders to invest more in it.
“Am hopeful that the moto girls will continue to utilize the skills they have gained from the mentorship and training project to advance good practice in journalism. I also have no doubt that the knowledge they have gained will be shared with other colleagues in their respective media houses,” said Kalunga.
“Ladies and gentlemen, investigative journalism is now the most valuable form of reporting in an environment where the demand for credible and well refined news has grown. We all know that investigative journalism also provides good checks and balances to government as it uncovers corruption and other vices which the new dawn administration has committed to fight. Much as the existing social media platforms are providing an alternative source of information to the Zambians, they are in some in stance misinforming and disinforming. Therefore, the initiative by the free press initiative to invest in training online journalists is commendable.”
And Chirwa observed that with the advent of social media traditional media risked being suffocated if journalists were not equipped with skills of in-depth reporting, she affirmed that free press initiative Zambia long term’s objective was see a pool of capacitated journalist in investigative reporting.
“The FPIs long term commitment is to improve investigative capacities of journalists in Zambia because the future of journalism is investigative reporting. Social media has essentially taken up the role that journalists played, therefore the only way that traditional journalism will survive is through in-depth investigative journalism that is the preserve of the trained journalists,” said Chirwa.
“We have brilliant young journalists in our country who are hungry for more knowledge in investigative journalism reporting hence our focus on training in this area of journalism. Apart from the moto project for female broadcast journalists which we are implementing in partnership with BBC media action we have another project that is being supported by the American government through their embassy in Lusaka. Through these interventions, we are confident of having a strong team of investigative journalists in Zambia who will play a key role in keeping government and other key sectors in check. As the fourth estate, their role in ensuring good governance, accountability and transparency cannot be ignored. The future of journalism is in investigative reporting and Zambia right now is on the right path towards achieving great strides in the area.”