PLSI is implementing a Public Audit Media Fellowship as part of its MacArthur Foundation-funded project to strengthen public audit practices and accountability at the state level in Nigeria. This fellowship will assist independent media actors in using audit data to investigate, report, and expose corruption at the subnational level in Nigeria.
This media fellowship will identify and train ten journalists (two from each of Nigeria’s five geopolitical zones) on how to use public audit information, creative communication, and data-driven storytelling skills to investigate, report, and expose corruption at the subnational level in Nigeria. The media fellowship focuses on one state in each of the geopolitical zones under consideration, and the individual states are as follows:
Anambra State is in the South East, Delta State is in the South South, Ekiti State is in the South West, Kaduna State is in the North West, and Yobe State is in the North East.
The Fellowship will last four weeks in Abuja, Nigeria (six days in the first three weeks (virtual) and two days in the fourth week (physical). Fellows will begin in October 2023.
Selected fellows would be assisted in analyzing annual audit reports of state governments, tracking public expenditures with the potential for corruption, and investigating such expenditures with the goal of revealing tendencies or reporting incidents of corruption for possible sanction by competent authorities. The media fellowship’s ten investigative pieces will be published through the medium in which the fellows operate.
PLSI would grant a stipend of N30,000 to cover virtual training logistics. PLSI will also cover the costs of the two days of onsite training in Abuja (return ticket – economy class, lodging, and per diem).
In addition, PLSI will award each fellow with N100,000 to help with story coverage and logistics.
PLSI will also organize rounds of discussions with stakeholders to get feedback and potential support for the concepts.
As applicants are ideally full-time writers, print, radio or broadcast journalists, filmmakers, bloggers, or other media makers with well-established records of publication, dissemination, or broadcast in local, regional, or national markets, or among targeted audiences or constituencies, PLSI does not guarantee the publication of stories in Nigerian dailies.
Sessions of Instruction
The training sessions will cover a variety of issues and will be led by field specialists to help fellows better understand the public audit system and generate investigative articles.
The following sessions will be held:
- Understanding the legal frameworks for public audits
- Audit report sourcing and analysis
- Understanding the Auditor General’s Role and the Public Audit Action Cycle
- Monitoring the actions of stakeholders (the Public Accounts Committee, Executive Agencies, and Anti-Corruption Bodies) in response to audit results
- Investigative reporting/Journalism concept
- Understanding the Public Accounts Committee’s Roles
- Data journalism that is ethical and accurate
- Audit reports as a source of investigative journalism
- Creating a sample investigative report on audit reports for 2020 and 2021
- Visualization of data, storytelling, and creative communication
- The Application of the Freedom of Information Act
- Using technology to verify information
- Creating captivating storytelling and Selection: The power of storytelling
We will conduct reviews and interviews from October 6 to 12, 2023, due to the volume of applications expected. Our chosen panel of judges, which comprises experienced civil society leaders and investigative journalists, will conduct the reviews.
On October 13, 2023, the selected fellows will be announced. Fellows will be notified in advance to ensure that media materials (bio, photograph, etc.) are available for the announcement.
The first cohort of the Public Audit Media Fellowship will begin in October 2023 and end in November 2023.
The application period begins on September 25, 2023 (noon WAT) and ends on October 6, 2023 (5:00 p.m. WAT).
PLSI anticipates that the first cohort of the Public Audit Media Fellowship will be able to accommodate 10 investigative/media journalists from the pool of applicants received from the open call.
For more information, please visit: Visit the PLSI Public Audit Media Fellowship Program 2023 Official Website.