Standing from left: Bunmi Bamiselu, Admin Manager (MRA), Kingsley Aisagbonhi, Accountant (MRA), Oluwafemi Dada, Finance Assistant (WSCIJ), Chiamaka Onwuegbunam, Assistant Programme Officer, WSCIJ, Ayode Longe, Programme Director (MRA) and Emem Nssien, CMEDIA Finance Officer. Sitting from left to right: Obioma Okonkwo, Head, Legal department (MRA), Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Technical Adviser (CMEDIA project), Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, MRA and Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/CEO, WSCIJ
The need for more collaboration took center stage when the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) recently visited Media Rights Agenda (MRA), a partner under its Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusivity and Accountability (CMEDIA).
The visit was to get an update on the MRA’s progress, share feedback and learn more about their plans for year two of their CMEDIA activities.
The WSCIJ delegation led by Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/CEO,include; Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Technical Adviser on the CMEDIA project, Emem Nssien, CMEDIA Finance Officer, Oluwafemi Dada, Finance Assistant, Chiamaka Onwuegbunam, Assistant Programme Officer and Afolabi Oni, Communication Officer who were received by Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of the MRA.
Addressing the WSCIJ team, Ojo said the CMEDIA project provides an opportunity to make an impact and collaborate with the strong collective of media organisations and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the 27-organisations strong partnership. Describing year one as a learning curve, he urged that partners must explore ways to collaborate more and give better visibility to CMEDIA activities.
He also suggested a solidarity mechanism for subnational journalists leading conversations on accountability and governance through investigative stories. The organisation thanked the WSCIJ team for visiting and highlighted the need to sustain the valuable peer-to-peer learning amongst partners.
In her feedback, Alaka said the CMEDIA project has been a good experience for all parties even as the WSCIJ explores ways to improve its strategies with partners to achieve better results by strengthening the collaboration.
She advised that in addition to printing and distributing of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the MRA should also organise more training for journalists to help the media take full advantage of the act and the ongoing changes in the political landscape to drive home the need for accountability from the incoming administration using the FOIA as a tool.
Alaka also announced that targeted training for partners to address financial reporting, investigative journalism, and programming will hold in the course of the year.
Ogweezy-Ndisika commended MRA’s report saying the report showed that the organisation had good experience even as she pointed out salient issues to improve for the second year. Apart from training the media, she advised MRA to promote citizen engagement and training of students of journalism across tertiary institutions on media rights.
The meeting also had Obioma Okonkwo, Head, Legal department; Kingsley Aisagbonhi, Accountant; Bunmi Bamiselu, Admin Manager and Ayode Longe, Programme Director all from MRA in attendance.
CMEDIA is a multi-level intervention that supports media independence, improved transparency, accountability, and good governance in state and local governments with more public awareness on the need for accountability, and amplified marginalised voices. The three-year project is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.