Investigative Reporting in Uruzgan and Nangarhar
IWPR is running an ambitious project to promote the practice of investigative reporting in parts of Afghanistan where this kind of journalism has yet to gain a strong presence.
Despite the rapid growth of Afghan media, few outlets possess the skills and capacity to support investigative journalism – the kind of reporting that makes the news rather than follows it, and engages audiences in issues that affect their lives.
To address this, IWPR has embarked on a 12-month project in two regions where investigative reporting is thin on the ground – Nangarhar in the east, and Uruzgan in the south – but also expanding into adjoining provinces through existing and new networks of journalists. Teams of reporters will generate original pieces on issues including health (reproductive health in particular), education, human rights, justice, governance, environment and gender rights.
The overall goal of the project is to encourage a culture of constructive public debate and critical thinking in Afghanistan by developing a media sector that values in-depth reporting.
The premise of the project is that thoughtful, balanced in-depth reporting is critical to stimulating a constructive public debate and seeking a critical mass around issues that directly affect local communities.
- Strengthen capacity to pursue conduct high-quality public-interest journalism, on themes including gender, health, human rights and judicial issues;
- Increase access to factual, balanced print and radio reports on key issues on issues affecting local communities;
- Use reporting to raise awareness of and concern about social and rights issues among Afghans, including among government and civil society representatives;
- Empower civil society organisations and local authorities to combat cases of abuse and neglect and uphold rule of law
- Reporting teams in Nangarhar and Uruzgan trained to research and produce reports for both print and radio that informs citizens and encourage them to become involved in processes for positive social change.
- Members of these teams serve as mentors to others both within the target locations and beyond, imparting the skills they have acquired to colleagues.
- Stories and audio reports in Dari/Pashto uploaded onto the project website, with some English translations published on IWPR global website.
- Partner radio stations run call-in talk shows on the issues raised in the reports
- Facilitate feedback from local communities on key issues affecting them.
The project builds on existing capacity, infrastructure and skills, in particular the Afghan Investigative Journalism Fund, an IWPR project run in 2010-11, which resulted in the Afghan Centre for Investigative Journalism, a resource centre and media network.