Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has launched its latest publication titled: Uncovering corruption in Nigeria: A manual for investigative journalists.
The manual, which was was presented by journalist and human rights activist Richard Akinnola, in Lagos, at an interactive session for investigative journalists from across Nigeria which held at the CITIHEIGHT Hotel, Lagos.
“The public has a right of access to information which is a public concern and of which the public ought to know.
“Newspapers, television and radio stations are the agent, so to speak, of the public to collect the information and to tell the public of it. In support of the right of access, they should not in general be compelled to disclose their source of information.
“Neither by means of discovery by trial nor by questions or cross-examination at the trial nor by subpoena,” said Akinnola.
The manual, published with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), reads in part: “Painstaking research and patience are the dual hallmarks of an investigative journalist. Fortunately, google is everybody’s friend. You need to check and double check whatever your sources are giving you.
Anyone who walks to you to give you documents incriminating someone has a purpose or agenda, and it may not be altruistic.
“He may want to even scores with someone and, in that process, may procure fake and questionable documents that might appear real and, if you don’t double-check and are not meticulous, you may be court in the wen of a libel action after publication. The honeypot of any investigative journalist is his/her sources…
“A source must be able to trust you, hence the issue of confidentiality of what your source gives or tells you.”