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- Dr Ddumba added that investigative journalists need to be well grounded in whatever concept they seek to cover because with information age and technology, the stories are not read by only Ugandans.
Investigative journalists have been urged to focus on research and data collection if their work is to make an impact on society.
Speaking during the launch of investigation stories under the Open Climate Reporting Initiative in Kampala yesterday, Dr Saul Daniel Ddumba from Makerere Departmental Academic Board, said investigative journalists need to first understand the concept of the specific topic they are working on from the start and this can be by conducting enough research.
“Investigative journalism is not so much of what we see and hear but it’s a concept that needs deep research, which can bring out the reality from the grassroot,” he said.
Dr Ddumba added that investigative journalists need to be well grounded in whatever concept they seek to cover because with information age and technology, the stories are not read by only Ugandans.
“Since the story is uploaded on any Internet platform, it means anyone can access it and, therefore, the story must be in position to stand the test of time deeply rooted from any concept,” he said.
Dr Ddumba added that training is necessary in investigative journalism because the concepts need more research. Hence he urged the journalists to go for short courses so that they keep on upgrading. He also noted that there is still a need for cooperation from the government because during the investigations, state institutions are involved and after the research, there is a need for policy makers to intervene.
Mr Solomon Serwanja, the executive director of African Institute for Investigative Journalism (AIIJ), which spearheaded the investigations, said investigative journalism has the power to transform the community but there is a need for government commitment.
“Our duty is to tell the stories, which are happening in our communities and amplify them to the world so that they get to know about them and see if they can do something because it digs deeper into the matter but it disappoints when they keep silent,” he said.
Mr Serwanja added that climate change stories they showcased during the launch give a clear picture of what is happening in different parts of the country .
“Stories launched include; charcoal burning in Acholi region, dark trade of sand in Lwera , water pollution on Lake Victoria in Entebbe and copper tailing in River Nyamwamba in Kasese,” he said
Mr Serwanja added that there is a need for policy makers to intervene by coming out with policies and laws, which can protect the environment and the people. “Our duty as journalists is to reveal the truth and leave it to the policy makers to come out and but if they stay silent on environmental crimes, which are happening in our communities, we are betraying ourselves yet tomorrow we will face the consequences,” he said
Mr Serwanja also revealed that with support from the Centre for Investigative Journalism, they started an annual initiative of supporting journalists to investigate on different issues.
“We are starting the investigative annual fellowship where we intend to take on 10 investigative journalists from different newsrooms and we work on different stories based on their interest,” he said.