3 highly recommended impactful investigative stories
Lekan Otufodunrin, journalist and media career development specialist highlights three investigative reports that resulted in action being taken by the authorities concerned.
On December 1, 2016, the National Board for Technical Education ( NBTE) announced the indictment and sacking of 12 lecturers of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi for sex- for- marks and other related offences.
Sixteen other lecturers were also demoted.
But for the publication of the story titled ” School where prostitutes assist male students to get marks” on April 9, 2016 by Saturday Punch, the NBTE would not have known of the sexual offences committed by the lecturers.
Executive Secretary of NBTE, Dr Masa’udu Adamu Kazaure thanked the Saturday Punch for putting the board, committee and the management on their toes to perform their statutory functions and promised to write a letter of commendation the editor of the paper.
The above story is a good example of the kind of impactful reports newspapers should be publishing to live up to its role as watch dog of the society that can draw attention to vices and lead to action being taken by concerned authorities.
Bisi Deji- Folutile, editor of the Saturday Punch and the writer of the story deserve commendation for a work well done and following up until necessary action was taken.
Two other examples should suffice on how media reports can cause necessary change when we get our facts right about the state of things in the country.
Until Fisayo Soyombo, Editor of The Cableng.com published “Forgotten Soldiers”, a five-part series exploring the agony of soldiers shattered by Boko Haramâs bullets and mines, the plight of the affected soldiers did not receive enough attention by the military authorities.
The under cover report supported by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Abuja was even initially dismissed by the military as a subversive attempt to “demoralize and instigate the soldiers to reverse the gains made in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.”
Months after the denial, the report has yielded positive results with a number of the soldiers, including Johnson Nwibani, who had lost their limbs in the battle against insurgents now standing on their two legs.
Nwibani has finally got a fitting prosthesis which he has been demanding for without being taken seriously until Soyombo published the expose.He is not the only beneficiary of the report which served as a wake up call for the military.
One of the many who opted to remain anonymous in TheCableâs âForgotten Soldiersâ series â also confirmed that the army expedited the treatment of âat least six injured soldiersâ after the story was published.
Responding to the publication of the report entitled HURRAY! Army finally gives prosthesis to a âforgotten soldierâ in The Cable on December 1, The Journalism clinic shared the story on Twitter with the following comment, “see why @Fisayosoyombo will keep winning awards”
â TheJournalismClinic (@Clinic4Journos) December 2, 2016
â Lekan Otufodunrin (@lotufodunrin) December 2, 2016
Tobi Aworinde of Sunday Punch’s award as Journalist of the Year for the 2016 Nigeria Breweries Golden Pen Award was for his excellent investigative multimedia report, titled âPUNCH undercover reporter exposes mass cheating at NECO miracle centre,â published in SUNDAY PUNCH on November 8, 2015.
The report exposed mass cheating at a National Examination Council centre in Lagos State consequently led to the shutting down of the school.
Considering the impact of the story, it was not a surprise that it was unanimously adjudged the overall winner by the panel of judges out of the total of 267 entries received at the close of submission for the award.
Elated Editor of Sunday Punch, Toyosi Ogunseye noted that Aworinde absolutely deserved the award considering the high quality of his report.