General News of Tue, 11 Sep 20181

Deepen relationship with media to enhance good governance – CSOs urged

The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) has advised Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to intensify the liaison with media houses to promote and entrench a culture of transparency, accountability and good governance.

Although the Ghanaian media space has a good relationship with CSOs through various reportage on human interest issues, Executive Director of ICIR, Dayo Aiyetan stated that it is important for CSOs to identify media houses and work with them extensively to yield the desired results.

He explained that it will help enhance integrity and underscore their commitment to zero-tolerance of corruption.

Dayo Aiyetan’s comment was made at a round table discussion between ICIR, CSOs, and journalists towards implementing an investigative project on media engagement with key CSOs in Ghana and Nigeria.

This is hoped to be done by amplifying social accountability issues, sustaining discussions on identified challenges, and pushing for policy change and or its implementation through investigative reporting for more meaningful and enduring impact.

The exercise is funded by Ford Foundation under the theme, “Promoting Social justice and Accountability Issues in West Africa.”

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Among the concerns common in both countries, raised at the meeting, were illicit cross-border crimes, embezzlement of funds by state officials, and human trafficking.

Journalists were, on the other hand, admonished not to focus on money or incentives they would receive, as claimed by CSOs, but be driven mainly as watchdogs of the society to assist in the fight against corruption.

The ICIR urged members of the fourth estate to use the report gathered by the CSOs as the basis for investigating on accountability and social justice issues by linking it to the ordinary citizen and how it affects them.

Reporters were, therefore, encouraged to go beyond mere reporting by engaging in active field work, facts check, and sensitizing the people affected by the corrupt act.

Mr Aiyetan said such investigative data-driven, watchdog reporting will keep citizens in check and push the agenda for punishing offenders.

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