Together with local partners we organised training, set up a scholarship programme and started competitions with prizes for the best investigative journalistic stories. We did all this to improve the journalists’ abilities to make important topics in their country known to the general public. And to hold those in power accountable in front of the entire nation.
The topics these journalists write about vary from the government not punishing corruption to mines that destroy farmland and nature. And equally important, the articles trigger reactions. After the publication of an article on thousands of miners and farmers falling seriously ill after working with chemicals, the employers could not get away with hiding documentation anymore. As a result of the publication, the employers were forced to enter into conversation with unions about protection of their employees. After all, when atrocities are addressed publicly, those in power cannot shut their eyes anymore.
Steven Assies of Free Press Unlimited: “The training is meant for young, promising journalists. We mainly try to reach people from the region. Because they are an example to other journalists, they can set a new standard for reporting. By intensively guiding journalists and providing them with extra tools we can improve the quality and impact of their reports.”