The IJW offers training through several avenues, namely the annual Power Reporting Workshop plus two types of workshop based training activities in investigative reporting at local level for smaller groups of participants: newsroom based training and project based training. This more targeted type of training is funded by USAID and aims at:
• strengthening the voice of marginalised provincial and rural communities by enhancing the professional skills of those who play a key role in reporting about bread and butter issues such as service delivery, crime or local nepotism
• cascading investigative skills down to small under-resourced newsrooms
• establishing a sustainable culture of investigation in local and provincial newsrooms
• developing horizontal networks between mainstream and local reporters

The IJW’s project-based training is designed to equip participants with the basic professional skills needed for investigate reporting – from hypothesis through to presentation – while at the same time offering more specialised insights into investigative techniques and resources pertinent to a specific area of investigation which participants themselves decide on at the onset of the course. Training is conducted by experienced practitioners and experts in the key area of investigation and consists of eight workshop days delivered over a period of three months.

Participants are expected to produce at least one investigative story for publication or broadcast at the end of the series and are invited to present their stories as showcases at the IJW Power Reporting Workshop.

Mentoring of the participants’ investigative projects during the entire period ensures that the assistance and training offered is applied throughout the investigation and ultimately in the newsroom.

Participants who wish to obtain SETA certificates for specialised beat reporting are able to do so but are required to submit three project-related investigative stories. All participants are informally assessed on the basis of:

  • the investigative project submitted
  • the quality of research and fact gathering
  • the quality of writing
  • working to deadline
  • the possible impact of the story

In the past some of the stories produced at the end of the series have been published in mainstream media. This has provided community journalists with exposure on a national level and has significantly enhanced their ability to be role models in their own newsrooms.

The IJW newsroom based training offers two days of regional training in basic skills of investigative reporting at local level. Training aims to provide local and community media with the basic skills for investigative reporting and strives to encourage the production of post-course investigative work and skills transfers within participating newsrooms.

Workshop sessions are conducted by experienced trainers and investigative journalists. Specific objectives include:
• improving investigative story planning and newsgathering skills
• increasing the depth and quality of investigative research
• raising awareness of journalistic ethics
• enhancing story mapping and writing skills

Workshop are organised in two streams – Investigative Skills and Investigative Internet Research – and are designed to equip participants with the basic professional skills needed to investigate local government as well as social, developmental and environmental issues.

Apart from the dissection of case studies, sessions teach practical skills in:

• Generating and pitching investigative story ideas
• Planning an investigation
• Identification of and dealing with sources
• Interviewing techniques
• Story mapping and writing
• Internet research
• Ethical implications of investigative reporting

Workshop sessions are highly interactive, outcomes based and practical by drawing on case studies and the experience of senior investigative journalists. Lesson plans are based on investigative journalism handbooks developed by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in collaboration with the IJW and the Forum for African Investigative Reporters.

Participants have to complete a number of written as well as internet research assignments throughout the duration of the course.

Click on the links below for more details:

Project-based training workshop 2008

Lesson plan 1

Lesson plan 2

Lesson plan 3

Project-based workshop 2: mid-term story review and complex stories

Newsroom-based training in Limpopo, E Cape and W Cape.

Media law workshop, by Portia Mngomezulu of Webber Wentzel Bowens (presented at the 2008 workshops)

Cick here to see pictures taken at the training

Project-based training workshops: 2007

Project-based training workshops: 2006