MacArthur Gives $19.2 Million to Strengthen Nigeria’s Investigative Journalism and Independent Media Ecosystem to Counter Corruption

MacArthur has announced more than $19.2 million in media and journalism funding to strengthen local and regional investigative journalism and develop a more robust independent media ecosystem across Nigeria. The grants are part of the Foundation’s On Nigeria program, which seeks to reduce corruption by supporting Nigerian-led anti-corruption efforts that advance accountability, transparency, and civic participation.

These 13 grants are a continuation of the Foundation’s work to contribute to the health and resilience of Nigeria’s media and journalism sector, in particular bolstering organizations that conduct investigative and accountability journalism to uncover and document corruption. The grants will support a range of initiatives, including:

Providing trainings for female and youth journalists on investigative field work and data-driven reporting; Assisting Nigerian media organizations in the development of sustainable business models; Developing the skills, knowledge, and language proficiencies for reporters to conduct investigative journalism in Nigerian languages; and Producing fact-checking trackers ahead of the 2023 general elections to hold leaders accountable and to fight back against mis- and disinformation.

A strong, independent media sector forms the backbone of democracy.

“Strengthening the skills, knowledge, and sustainability of media is especially critical to ongoing efforts to reduce corruption. A strong, independent media sector forms the backbone of democracy,” said Kole Shettima, MacArthur’s Nigeria Office Director. “This continued support of key media and journalism organizations will deepen, consolidate, and institutionalize anti-corruption reporting at the local and state levels and create more opportunities for the voices of rural people, women, young people, and minority ethnic groups to be heard.”

The grants announced today are:

Bayero University, Kano (Kano): To implement a nationwide curriculum for research, teaching, and learning of investigative journalism in partnership with seven other universities; to promote dissemination of investigative reports in local languages; to provide scholarships to female students; and to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities in the study of investigative and data-driven journalism.

Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation (Lagos): To add fact-checking and a policy tracker to its Policy Radar in Nigeria (PRIN) initiative, which will monitor and address misinformation around the 2023 general elections in Nigeria and track campaign promises, policies, and programs through investigative reporting and data journalism.

Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (Abuja)

To continue trainings of student journalists to track projects across Nigeria and produce investigative reports that focus on state-level corruption; facilitate collaborations with fact-checking and public health organizations to dispel misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic; and track attacks on the press to galvanize discussions on media freedoms and protections.

The Conversation Africa (Johannesburg)

To support an informed citizenry by producing quality information and materials on anti-corruption and accountability with a focus on Nigeria, bringing a broad African perspective to its research news and analysis.

Daily Trust Foundation (Abuja)

To expand training of journalists at the national, state, and local government levels to develop multimedia investigative journalism techniques and support the production of investigative stories across print, digital, and broadcast platforms.

Daria Media Limited (Lagos): To support a radio program called The Searchlight to host town halls in preparation for the 2023 general elections, organize forums on citizens’ civic duties and accountability in a democracy, and document the experience of women participating in politics and government, as well as work with women’s organizations on sexual and gender-based violence reporting, and support young women journalists in holding government officials accountable.

HumAngle Media Limited (Abuja)

To use Freedom of Information requests to obtain information on budget approvals and the disbursement of funds in the security and humanitarian sectors to promote transparency and accountability, as well as to provide investigative reporting training and mentoring to young journalists in local communities in northeastern Nigeria, many of whom are women.

International Centre for Investigative Reporting (Abuja): To strengthen the capacity of journalists at the state and community levels to report on budget and procurement processes and to train early- and mid-career journalists in support of their investigative work.

Media Development Investment Fund (New York)

To operate a program in Nigeria to improve the capacity of independent media organizations to generate sustainable and diverse revenue streams and build audiences, particularly in rural areas or in vernacular languages.

St. Ives Communications Limited (Women Radio FM) (Lagos and Ibadan)

To create radio programming on corruption and accountability from a gender lens and establish an academy to train female investigative journalists to report on corruption and its impact on women and girls.

Tiger Eye Social Foundation (Accra): To increase corruption investigations on the judiciary in Nigeria; support collaboration among media organizations and professionals to increase the impact of investigative reports; and strengthen partnerships among journalists, anti-corruption institutions, and roversight bodies.

Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre (Abuja)

To support investigative journalists working across local languages ahead of the 2023 general elections by opening new investigations to track the use of public funds, hold leaders accountable, and prevent wasteful spending.

Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (Lagos): To expand civic space by supporting more than 20 media organizations and startups to strengthen data-driven, anti-corruption investigative reporting at the community and sub-national levels, as well as enhance journalists’ safety through training in physical and social wellbeing and cybersecurity.

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