By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
Deliberations at ‘The Makers Camp’ organised by FeedZW recently, have pointed to a correlation between investigative journalism and digital rights in quest for transparency and accountability.
The 3-day event saw renowned investigative journalist and managing editor of an online investigative journalism website, Zim Morning Post, Elias Mambo, talking about how investigative journalism can now be necessitated by social media.
“Today it’s now a bit easier to investigate stories because of social media. For instance following social media posts can give you a hint on a story to unearth, ” said Mambo who is also the founding director of Centre for Investigative Journalism in Zimbabwe.
According to multi-media journalist Privilege Musvanhiri who reported immensely on the Cyclone Idai using his mobile phone, mobile reporting is now an inherent skill to explore for journalists.
“If you followed my reportage on the Cyclone Idai you maybe tempted to think I was using sophisticated tools to convey the messages only to find out that it was only my smart-phone that I was using.
“I encourage journalists to embrace mobile reporting as it is an exciting venture which appeals to an audience which is now increasingly online,”cited Musvanhiri .
Musvanhiri also implored journalists to be the ambassadors of their reports by sharing the content.
“As journalists we should be ambassadors of our own content such that even when there is backlash on some of our reports we should be able to be grounded and defend the reports, ” added Musvanhiri.
The FeedZW poject officer Tafadzwa Tseisi reminded journalists to maintain ethical considerations when mobile reporting.
“I strongly encourage journalists not to discard ethics when mobile reporting as this will help in enhancing credibility ,” asserted Tseisi.
Misa Zimbabwe legal and ICT officer Kuda Hove encouraged journalists to advocate for digital rights since they complement their work.
“As an organisation we have been pushing for journalists to advocate for digital rights as they are an enabler to your work.
“The internet is essential in promoting freedom of expression (FOE) and as journalists you also want to share your content via WhatsApp,Facebook and You Tube hence the need to ensure digital rights in terms of accessibility are promoted,”implored Kuda Hove.
The Makers Camp also saw journalists some drawn from the Young Journalists Association (Yoja) and Journalism Students Network of Zimbabwe (Jsnetzim) going through intensive training on video production and story- telling techniques.