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Kenyan writer conducts refresher course for Zimbabwean journalists



Prominent Kenyan investigative journalist John-Allan Namu (pictured) conducted a refresher course for mid-career Zimbabwean journalists, including a few veterans, at a seminar at Harare Polytechnic recently.

Namu took the journalists through the basics of investigative journalism, from hypothesis, justification, planning, source mapping, timelines, funding and writing, as well as packaging and distribution.

He also engaged local journalists on the utility and pitfalls of social media. Social media platforms are essential for open source investigations due to their widespread use and real-time nature.

They allow for the collection and analysis of large volumes of user-generated data invaluable in investigative journalism. By using social media platforms such as X (Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram, journalists can gather valuable information on a particular subject or event under investigation.

Yet journalists have to navigate through a minefield of rumours, unreliable information and lies to thoroughly verify authenticity of sources, newsmakers and details.

This is increasingly becoming a huge problem, particularly with the advent or growing use of artificial intelligence tools, and deepfakes.

Deepfake artificial intelligence technology is used to create convincing digital image, audio and video hoaxes. To overcome these challenges, journalists should employ robust investigative techniques and verification processes. After all, journalism is a discipline of verification.

By cross-checking information from multiple sources, fact-checking, and using reliable tools, reporters can mitigate risks associated with information overload and misinformation, as well as disinformation.

Namu covered these issues in detail during his presentation. The Kenyan is a multiple award-winning investigative journalist, trainer and moderator.

He is CEO of Africa Uncensored, an investigative and in-depth journalism production house based in Nairobi, Kenya. Africa Uncensored’s ambition is to be the premier source of unique, important and incisive journalism. Prior to co-founding Africa Uncensored, he was the special projects editor at the Kenya Television Network, heading a team of the country’s best television investigative journalists.

Funded by Swedish media institute, Fojo, whose mandate is to professionalise journalism through institutional and individual capacity building, the three-day training workshop, is facilitated by Namu, assisted by The NewsHawks managing editor Dumisani Muleya, a local award-winning investigative journalist, veteran journalist Tawanda Majoni, founder of Information for Development Trust, as well as Harare Polytechnic lecturers, including Terrence Antonio and Admire Masuku.

It is attended by seasoned, mid-career as well as up-and-coming journalists from across different media houses and cities in the country. — STAFF WRITER

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