#WAJIC’2023, Future Of Accountability Journalism In Africa

Journalists the world over have been playing a crucial role in ensuring good governance in any community, aimed at holding the powerful accountable for their actions or their positions through reportage that exposes corrupt leaders and their cohorts.
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By Hassan Umar Shallpella

Journalists the world over have been playing a crucial role in ensuring good governance in any community, aimed at holding the powerful accountable for their actions or their positions through reportage that exposes corrupt leaders and their cohorts. The focal point is to protect the best interests of the public.

The Innovation by Journalists with the use of technology has been considered as the main driving force of sustainability of Journalism today. Reports of happening around the globe now reach audience within the tinkle of an eye through modern means of communication like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. This innovation has greatly improved the sustenance of Journalism practice because the majority of people are getting information at their fingertips as it happens unlike before when news of an event gets to the audience lately due to the absence of digital equipment.

The innovation has also helped in sharing information and data amongst the practitioners which prove to be reliable and accurate and equally reduced litigation of slander and libel. Innovation adopted by the Journalists has contributed immensely towards informing the populace on the issues bothering human rights abuses, poverty, natural disasters, conflict and violence, extremism, and climate change among others. For instance, during the era of the Corona pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the innovation used by Journalists has kept the Journalism practice afloat and people were adequately informed on progress and challenges.

To strengthen Accountability Journalism in Africa, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development is hosting the West African Journalism Innovation Conference (WAJIC’23), with the theme “Accountability Journalism: Nurturing Innovation for a Sustainability Future” will be held July 24th-26th, 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria. The conference will draw more than 300 participants from Journalists, Media professionals, the academic community, policymakers, government institutions, and other relevant stakeholders across West Africa.Participants of #WAJIC’2023 are expected to discuss the state of Accountability Journalism in West Africa and how innovation is impacting its evolution, values, and principles. The conference will also future workshops, and expert panels, and explore media innovations and technological tools that can fortify journalism practice in the African region.

The future of Accountability Journalism can be sustained when journalists are given the requisite resources to conduct research and come out with facts and present them objectively to the public. In addition, Journalists should be allowed to operate within the ambit of the ethics of the profession without interference from the government, security operatives, and politicians.

Journalists, therefore, have to be innovative to make their work easier and cover a wider range within the shortest possible time. To ensure their sustainability, both print and electronic media through innovation have an online Television to watch an event while on the move since readership has reduced and people preferred to watch video clips.It is no longer a fashion to see a person carrying a transistor radio or hard copies of newspapers before having access to information through the media.

The innovation of creating Apps has helped in the sustainability of Journalism practice as viewers and listeners can download news, watch or listen to it later offline. This has strengthened the relationship between Journalists and their readers/listeners.

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