FAIR Newsletter: 1 July 2013

1. FAIR wins Partners Choice Award in Istanbul

Exchanging experiences, expertise and workshops. Free Press Unlimited’s partner meeting in Istanbul was all about true partnership. Except for one thing: the award competition. All partners were asked to submit their most prestigious project. Quite a challenge, also for the jury. The award winners were granted prize money to reinforce existing projects or set up promising initiatives in the field of media development. Winners: Investigative newspaper Ziarul de Garda took the Drivers of Change award home to Moldova. Winner of the Innovators in Media award is Gorebete from Ethiopia, producing news and information on a very local level using social
media blogging.  Free Press Unlimited partners chose FAIR as the winner of the Partners Choice Award. FAIR works to improve the quality of investigative journalism in Africa, and uncover corruption, exploitation and other social issues. FAIR will utilize the prize money of € 2.500 for projects on coaching and journalistic investigations. Read more

2. Update on Small Grants programme

Congratulations to Noor Ali (Kenya), Collins Mtika (Malawi), Nhau
Mangirazi (Zimbabwe), Fiona MaCloed (SA) and Racheal Niinsima (Uganda)
for their powerful stories (land grabbing, rhino horn poaching,
man-made food crisis, a new form of epilepsy and persecution of gays
and lesbians in Somalia), to be published in forthcoming in foreign
publications such as Al Jazeera English as well as local papers such
as The Observer in Uganda. FAIR will provide links and attached
versions once the articles are published. We are also hoping to have
the stories translated into several languages, beginning with French.
We also note the entry of two new grantees, Rasha el Deeb (Egypt) and
Christophe Assogba (Benin) who will receive a small grant under the
SIDA programme. Additional funding from the CCS/EJolt ‘ecological
justice’ investigations will help to broaden our grants pool, with
funds awarded to Franz Fuls (South Africa) and Haggai Matisko
(Uganda).  Get more updates on the ‘African Investigative Grants Fund’.

3. Investigative Journalism workshops in East Africa

Wanjohi Kabukuru and other FAIR members were privileged to attend the
KAS Kenya IJ Workshop with more than 20 other Nairobi based
journalists. For three days they interacted with veteran South African
IJ and editor Paula Fray of FrayIntermedia and Christian Echle of KAS
Media programme. The modules covered during this training included:
a). The Investigative Process; b). Finding the Information – Evidence
based Research and c). Writing the Story.  In Uganda, FAIR Board
members Barbara Among and Charles Mwanguhya (The Monitor) presented
guest sessions at the KAS Uganda IJ workshop, with a focus on ‘the
challenges – ethics and media law – of investigative journalism in
Uganda.’ Participants included journalists from different media
sectors who evaluated the training programme positively, and were also
introduced to FAIR and its work in Africa.

4. New appointments at FAIR

The management team welcomes new members and institutions recently
appointed by the FAIR Board in our efforts to investigate and publish
professional, groundbreaking stories:
•       Francophone Editor/Mentor — Gerard Guedegbe of Benin has been
appointed Francophone Editor for stories produced by SIDA grantees in
2013. He will also mentor investigative journalists working on French
language stories in the SIDA grant programme, and facilitate placement
of exclusive grant stories in Francophone media.
•       Partner on Transnational Investigation into ‘land grabbing’ – The US
based Oakland Institute has been contracted as a partner in a
transnational investigation under the umbrella of FAIR and the SIDA
investigative grants programme. OI will seek to aid in mentoring
journalists working on the investigation and help enable the
production of award-winning land grab exposes in Africa.
•       Publications Manager — Philippe Rivière of France, who previously
worked for Le Monde Diplomatique, has been appointed to act as
managing editor of an online publication to be produced as a quarterly
(four issues), under the umbrella of FAIR but with independent
editorial control. Philippe will also facilitate publication of new
content as mobile media, and aid in mentoring, commissioning and
editing of stories for the quarterly online magazine.
•       Publications Editor – Richard Mgamba of Tanzania has offered to
assist with editing content for the upcoming quarterly publication.
More details about the quarterly online project will be announced on
the FAIR website.

5. ZAM Chronicle online magazine launched

A new monthly online investigative magazine with a highly ambitious
mission: “to be a platform for grassroots, crowd-sourced observations
on and from the African continent.” The ZAM Chronicle is born out of
the Netherlands-based ZAM Magazine. The fist issue includes reports on
wide-ranging topics: Theophilus Abbah gives an overview of recent
developments in Northern Nigeria, taking a close look at the deadly
stand-off between the Nigerian state and the sectarian Boko Haram;
Benon Herbert Oluka analyses the success of a community campaign in
Uganda which did what ‘Stop Kony 2012′ and US$ 2 billion aid money did
not; Kassim Mohamed writes about the Kafka-esque world of Somali
refugees in Europe; Benon Herbert Oluka reports on the “The no-go
zones of the Ugandan President”; and much more. Read the online
magazine here

6. Registration open for Highway Africa Conference

This year’s Highway Africa conference will take place at Rhodes
University from 1 – 2 September 2013. Under the theme “Speaking Truth
to Power? Media, Politics and Accountability”, the event hopes to
attract journalists, civil society activists and academics
deliberating on African media’s role in holding political authority
accountable and also how journalists themselves are accountable
through codes of conduct and regulatory frameworks. The conference
will also host various training workshops, book launches and
exhibitions linked to the theme, plus evening gala dinners and
networking sessions, including the prestigious Telkom-Highway Africa
New Media Awards. Register online.

7. Critical website blocked for four days in Zambia

A private website that documents alleged Zambian government corruption
has been blocked in the country since Monday, its editor told CPJ. The
Zambian Watchdog’s Lloyd Himaambo has said that the website’s staff
believes the authorities are responsible for ordering the blocking. In
August 2012, Zambia’s Minister of Tourism called for the banning of
the Watchdog, saying that the website’s critical coverage could affect
the country’s image in the lead-up to the U.N. World Tourism
Organization meeting. News accounts also reported last year that the
Zambian government had engaged hackers to destroy online media
including Zambian Watchdog. Read more from CPJ.


1. Call for proposals: specific focus on mega-dams (Deadline 8 July)

Due to a lack of proposals around several important themes, FAIR would
like issue a specific request for pitches around mega-dams. Inga (DRC)
has been making the news as ‘the world’s biggest dam’ – 40 000 MW,
backed by South Africa (a major client of hydro-power producing
countries like Mozambique, Lesotho etc), and corporate consortia
including China, which has a stake in over 50% of the global mega-dam
market, and the bulk of Africa’s mega-dam market.  Mega-dams
represent, for any journalist, one of the richest areas of
investigation – from water wars and foreign policy to climate
change/drought, socio-eco destruction (fisheries,  flood recession
agri), gender (displaced downstream populations usually resettled,
women always doubly marginalised especially in land tenure issues),
human rights (labor, rural etc), illicit and illegal multi-billion
dollar deals, high level politicking, etc.  Tenders are heavily
inflated, dams badly constructed, vast populations are displaced,
ecologies disrupted, xenophobia on the rise. Should Africa be dammed
up or will it damn the continent? Please submit your proposals to
Khadija Sharife, editor@fairreporters.org and cc Abdullah Vawda,

2. GIJC13:  Call for Research Papers

The eighth Global Investigative Journalism Conference will feature for
the first time an academic research track. Topics of research papers
to be considered include trends in computer-assisted reporting and
data journalism, trends in investigative reporting, challenges related
to country or culture, successful teaching methods, and adapting
investigative journalism to new technologies. Paper must be written in
English, Portuguese, or Spanish. Submission requirements here.

3. Transnational Investigation: Land Grabbing Partnership with Oakland Institute (Deadline: 14 July)

FAIR has created a partnership with the Oaklands Institute (OI) to
investigate specific cases of land grabbing in Africa. OI has
pioneered investigative research in this field that has changed
policy, broken corrupt deals, etc.  We are looking for eight to ten
journalists who are highly skilled with a history of innovative
investigative journalism, able to travel to remote areas longer
periods of time, intelligent, able to speak to diverse audiences (from
corporate to displaced persons), and who are ready and willing to get
their hands dirty, potentially dangerous, very committed. French and
English would be a plus.   Send through a letter of motivation,
resume, samples of your best investigative work, references.  FAIR
will be providing a grant to the journalists. OI and FAIR will partner
to develop the research.   Please enquire or submit your proposals via
Khadija Sharife, editor@fairreporters.org and cc Abdullah Vawda,

4. Become a Knight-Mozilla Fellow

Knight-Mozilla Fellows spend 10 months embedded with our partner
newsrooms. Our Fellows are developers, technologists, civic hackers,
and data crunchers who are paid to work with the community inside and
outside of their newsroom to develop open-source projects. Fellows
work in the open by sharing their code and their discoveries, helping
to strengthen and build journalism’s toolbox.  Six news organizations
around the world will be hosting our five Knight-Mozilla Fellows in
2014. Now is your chance to be one of them. Starting on June 17, 2013
and closing August 17, we are looking for people who love to code and
want to change the world of journalism for the better. Could this be
you? Apply now to become a 2014 Fellow.

5. Citizen journalism broadcast contest open

The International Citizen Media Award seeks video and audio entries focusing on themes opposing racism and right-wing extremism. Entrants should be private, non-commercial producers. Entries may include an individual product, a short movie, a movie in a television broadcast, a radio spot or a video/audio podcast. In the video category, the first-place winner will receive EU€1,000 (US$1,315). The second-place winner will participate in an international media camp and the third-place winner will receive EU€300 (US$395). The deadline is Aug. 31. For more information.

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