The Media for Oil Reform (MFOR) core course is known as a master class in oil and gas reporting—a rich resource for Nigerian journalists to more effectively cover the hydrocarbons sector.
Its most recent iteration drew most 23 journalists from 17 media houses in Nigeria over two weeks. Facilitated by NRGI (in partnership with Pan-Atlantic University’s School of Media and Communication, Lagos), the course was part of an array of programs under the NRGI-Nigeria MFOR program.
Knowledge modules took participants through the Natural Resource Charter benchmarking framework and 12 precepts for evaluating governance across the decision chain. Ethics; analytic and investigative reporting; data and evidence-based reporting; and professional development topics such as time-management were focuses. The journalists will undergo three-month mentorships following the course to bolster their ability to closely cover oil and gas governance.
Most participants agreed that a lack of follow up to see important stories to a conclusive end was a major problem. The culture of research, fact-finding and in-depth reporting on the sector is wanting as a result.
Below is some background on the participants:
Senior Correspondent, Vanguard
Brisibe has reported on environmental impacts of oil and gas activities in the Niger Delta. He is interested in producing balanced reporting that will lead to accountability and transparency in the management of the sector.
Reporter & Sub-Editor, Punch Newspapers
Olawunmi has been practicing journalism for 10 years. He is interested in exposing malpractices in the oil industry. He hopes that his insightful reporting will assist the government, stakeholders and Nigerian citizens to better harness benefits from the oil and gas sector.
Abdullahi Dare Akogun
Reporter, National Mirror
Abdullahi is particularly interested in issues of oil sector governance. His goal is to contribute to efforts by policymakers to bring about reforms in the sector.
Reporter, Daily Trust
Daniel is passionate about investigative journalism despite its challenges. He is committed to pursuing the truth and justice through his investigations and to serving his readers with stories that matter, notwithstanding the time and energy it will take.
Frank is interested in learning new trends, skills and techniques to ensure balanced reporting of oil and gas issues. Participating in the training program has given him insights into better ways of delivering investigative reports on the oil and gas sector.
Isaac has reported the oil and gas sector for 10 years. With enhanced writing skills and understanding of the sector, he hopes to produce better special reports, features and news analyses.
Senior Photojournalist, Daily Independent
Kunle has practiced journalism for five years and the knowledge he has acquired of the oil and gas sector will strengthen his reporting by making it more detailed and balanced.
Presenter/Reporter, Africa Independent Television
Nkoli has practiced journalism for over a decade. She feels better equipped with the requisite skills to set the agenda for the public on how to more effectively address the challenges facing the oil and gas sector and the people adversely affected by its operations.
Gladys’ magazine focuses on oil and gas. She plans to publish more investigative reporting to accelerate reforms in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Principal Correspondent, News Agency of Nigeria
Nathan has been in journalism for more than a decade. He is particularly interested in issues surrounding oil production and marketing and hopes to be able to set the agenda for good governance of these aspects of Nigeria’s oil sector.
Reporter, New Telegraph
Kayode has covered the oil and gas industry in Nigeria for several years. His major interest is in understanding and unravelling the corruption in the institutions vested with the responsibility of managing the country's petroleum resources.
Head, Investigative Reporting Desk, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria
Always interested in carrying out in-depth investigations in the oil and gas sector, Solomon is now paying close attention to the viability of the tax holidays granted to oil companies in Nigeria, among other issues of accountability and transparency.
Energy Correspondent, Newsbreakers NG
Having only recently been assigned the energy beat, Omatseye’s priority is to address the question of why Nigeria’s oil sector has been unable to yield maximum benefits for its citizens.
Correspondent, Punch Newspapers
For Bayo, who has been a reporter for about five years, the primary motivation is to break down technical oil and gas issues through data-driven investigative reporting.
Energy Reporter, This Day
Chineme wants to follow the numbers and the trends in Nigeria’s oil sector so as to fully capture and report the issues of transparency and accountability that the emerging issues raise.
Energy Editor, Businessday
Olusola has been a journalist for over 15 years. He is interested in the use of investigative reporting tools to uncover what is hidden from public view in the management and operations of Nigeria’s oil sector.
Reporter, Punch Newspapers
As Geoff continues to improve his reporting of the oil and gas sector, he plans to keep rekindling his interest in exploring new investigative reporting techniques and methods of simplifying the way petroleum issues are covered.
Given her duties at the Nigeria Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Angela regularly encounters the issues, challenges and prospects of the oil and gas industry. She hopes to better help journalists who cover the sector to draw the necessary linkages that will help the country improve the management of its natural resources.
Knowledge and Innovation Officer, Premium Times
As Adedeji makes his entry into journalism and the oil and gas sector, his main interest is to employ his data and visualization skills to tell the story of this important sector in Nigeria.
Toyin Akinniyi is a media capacity development associate with NRGI. George W. Lugalambi is a media capacity development officer.