The Next Generation Investigative Journalism Fellowship (NGIJ) is a training and mentorship programme that seeks to empower young journalists with investigative journalism skills. The objective is to build a pool of next generation investigative journalists who will contribute to improving lives and promoting good governance through journalism excellence.
The NGIJ programme builds the capacity of early-career journalists in the West Africa region to be able to conduct critical, high-quality, fact-based and in-depth reporting.
Every year, the Fellows are recruited through a competitive process of selection including aptitude tests and interviews.
Under the programme, the selected journalists are hosted in Ghana for a five-month comprehensive training. The training includes a mentorship programme with Fact-Check Ghana and The Fourth Estate, both being MFWA’s public interest and accountability journalism projects made up of seasoned journalists.
The Fellows receive intensive practical bootcamp training on data journalism, fact-checking, story development, writing and researching for investigative reporting, and mobile journalism. They are also trained on how to use access to information laws to gather important datasets that can serve as the basis for groundbreaking journalism.
Aside from the training, the NGIJ fellowship programme includes other activities aimed at a holistic building of the capacity of the Fellows. These activities include participation in seminars and programmes of the MFWA; institutional tours and working visits; engagements with high-profile media personalities in the West Africa region; and some recreational visits.
At the end of the Fellowship, each Fellow is expected to produce at least 2 fact-check reports and one comprehensive story published by The Fourth Estate. The Fellows will also receive a certificate of participation and be included in the cohort.
The maiden edition of the NGIJ fellowship commenced in 2021. Ten budding journalists were recruited from Ghana and enrolled in the five-month comprehensive training programmes (here are their profiles). After their training, the fellows produced in-depth stories that are holding government to account (Read some of the stories here, here, and here).
The second edition of the NGIJ has been opened to young journalists from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. The subsequent editions will host more participants including journalists from all the countries in the West Africa region.
The Fellowship is organized with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, US Embassy Ghana, and Dutch Foreign Ministry (through the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)