Beginning May 2021, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) will host journalists from print, radio, television, and online news portals in separate story development boot camps to be held in Ghana, Niger, and Cote d’Ivoire.
The boot camps will offer the participating journalists opportunities for peer learning, experience sharing, and mentorship. Participants will brainstorm on their proposed story ideas for which they were selected, and discuss more effective approaches to pursuing those stories. A significant part of the boot camp will focus on how journalists can utilise or evoke the Access to Information (ATI) or Right to Information (RTI) laws in their respective countries to access information to advance the development of their stories.
The boot camps will be a mixture of interactive presentations from seasoned media professionals, group works, and practical story development sessions. At the end of the workshop, participants who require and are able to justify a need for financial support to work on their stories will receive financial support to undertake those stories.
After the story development boot camp, there will be a one-day national forum on the role of Access to Information Laws in ensuring transparent and accountable governance in Niger and Cote d’Ivoire. Key stakeholders including journalists, civil society organisations, and public officials will participate in these forums. The MFWA is also currently developing a Manual which will provide quick tips on how journalists can effectively use the ATI laws in their countries to pursue their stories.
The story development boot camps form part of the MFWA’s project “Promoting press freedom, independent journalism and democratic governance in West Africa” which is being implemented in Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).