By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza
One of the international renowned and awards winning investigative journalists, Will Fitzgibbon has attributed access to information as the major barrier that make the journalists not to develop interest in investigating journalism in many countries including Malawi.

Fitzgibbon said this recently at the two day long investigative journalism training workshop held in Blantyre.

“In many countries that I have worked, journalists fail to breakthrough in investigative journalism due to poor access to information. This is the same with here in Malawi,” said Fitzgibbon, who is also a member of the international centre of investigative journalists {ICIJ}.

He said; “unless there are a conducive environment whereby access to information is not a barrier to investigative journalism, a lot of issues will not be exposed.”

The investigave journalist’s trainer, who was also part of the network investigating the Panama Paper, also attributed bureacruracy within the systems as the other contributing factor towards slow development of investigative journalism in many countries.

Dr Karen Del Biondo, the technical advisor for National Integrity platform{NIP} which organised the workshop in partnership with GIZ said the seminar was designed so that journalists get the chance to reflect critically on developments within the investigative journalism sector and exchange expertise with peer journalists.

“This workshop aimed to deepen knowledge on different journalistic investigative techniques as well as exploring different techniques in the country,” she said.

The workshop focused on building international networks, finding funding opportunities abroad and identification and use of data and other forms of information.

One of the participants, Shy Alli, a freelance journalist said the training would help to effectively empower journalists to understand the basic research process and ethics of reporting on investigative beats such as procurement where he said a lot of corruption is happening.

“Indeed, a lot of issues are happening under cover in the country. We find difficulties to get them because of poor access to information. This is also necessitated by the access to information bill which has taken too long to be passed in parliament,” he said.

Ali said training would also help us to understand the ethics of reporting investigation beats such as in procurement where he said a lot of corruption are reportedly practiced.

A total of fifteen journalists from selected from various local print media organisations in the country attended the training workshop.

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