Investigative journalism needed to unearth corruption and illegal activity

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“Investigative Journalism is not about the he said, she said melee, that we encounter in our day-to-day reporting; it is about unearthing corruption and illegal activity, giving whistle-blowers a voice, and exposing wrong-doing in public and private entities.”
 Anika Kentish, president of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM), made the point on Tuesday during an address at the opening ceremony of a five-day investigative journalism workshop in Jamaica.
The workshop, which runs from May 1 to 5, is being conducted by the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC).
It is also intended to highlight the ongoing significance of the annual World Press Freedom Day, which
is being commemorated today under the theme, “Keeping Power in Check, Media, Justice and the Rule of Law.”
 “Investigative Journalism plays a fundamental role in keeping people in check and the public aware,” Kentish said as she pointed to unique challenges faced by people who engage in investigative journalism.
The veteran Antiguan journalist said these challenges include, “antiquated or non-existent freedom of information laws and criminal defamation laws that politicians often use to intimidate tenacious reporters”.
The workshop is seen as a launching pad for a series of initiatives by the MIC to develop a cadre of journalists equipped to produce high-quality investigative work. Facilitators include prominent international and regional media trainers and practitioners.
 “I must therefore applaud the Media Institute of the Caribbean on mounting this critical course as it could have a significant impact on our newsrooms and their ability to provide in-depth and impactful stories that could save lives and weed out corruption. The Association of Caribbean Media Workers is proud to throw its enthusiastic support behind this initiative,” Kentish said.
She also shared ACM’s concern that a lot of work is still needed to bring about more transparency in the political process and creating a Caribbean society that is more embracing of freedom of expression.
The combination of lectures, inter-active sessions and practical exercises led by the facilitators and workshop participants will be drawn from media houses from across the English-speaking Caribbean.
The MIC is a registered non-profit entity in Jamaica and is a member organisation of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) and a partner institution of the ACM.

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