By: Alieu Jallow
Sahel Films Academy in collaboration with the International Republican Institute [IRI] on Monday 4th January 2021, roll out five days training workshop for ten Journalists on investigative Journalism to strengthen government accountability.
The objective of this training is to build the capacity of Gambian Journalists in researching, interviewing, sourcing for information, writing news articles and utilising online tools and disseminating collated reports easily.
Lady Oumie Batchilly, Chief Operations Officer of Sahel Films Academy said the training will benefit Journalists as a result of building network that will connects across newsrooms and create relationships with sources and government institutions for stronger advocacy. Madam Batchilly indicated that the training is also to develop a mentorship program where experienced Journalists will provide guidance and share useful insights on crafting in-depth investigative reporting.
Madam Batchilly added that the project is aimed to promote accountability and transparency in the Gambia. ‘‘Upon completion nominated Journalists will be able to filter through government policies and public opinions to identify relevant issues that are of public interest and to follow them with utmost professionalism”, Batchilly said.
She concluded that in seeking out sources, Journalists should be able to access relevant information, analyse data, write impactful reports and advocate for the passing of the access to Information Bill.
Fatou Kassama a trainee described the training as a springboard in her career noting that it will help her develop interest into investigative reporting. As a first time trainee, Journalists Kassama said the investigative reporting training will equipped and prepare her in writing human interest investigative stories.
Sahel Films Academy is a Civil Society Organisation established in the Gambia in 2018. It is advocating for the rights and advancement of marginalised groups using the media (film, photography, music and writing) for campaigns, information dissemination and public sensitisation. They also advocate for Empowering Gambians to develop skills in media advocacy and presentation accredited by NAQAA to both train and assess in Filming and Photography.