IPNews – Monrovia: 09/20/19. The Independent Probe Newspaper, with funding from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, OSIWA, has concluded a two-day investigative reporting training on ‘transparency and accountability and has setup a reporters’ network to ‘follow the money’ in the public sector.
The workshop which brought together reporters from various local media institutions was held under the theme “Following the Money’, and took place 19-20 September in the conference hall of the Christian Revival Center on Chessman Avenue, 13th Street, Sinkor.
Speaking at the start of the training workshop, the Publisher of the Independent Probe Newspaper, Chester A. Smith, Sr., called on participants to show their love for country and the protection of democracy by collaborating to ensuring public officials are held accountable in the discharge of their public duties.
Mr. Smith told cross section of media personals that the task to ‘following the money’, remains a challenge that must be achieved through collective engagement and networking. The youthful Publisher stated that transparency and accountability are essential pillars to the attainment of lasting peace and tranquility in Liberia.
He challenged participants to see the initiative of ‘Following the Money’, as a civic duty of all, especially members of the fourth Estate whose overriding interest is reporting the facts which are meaningful aspects of ensuring public officials remain accountable to their citizens in the utilization of intended funds allocated for the public good.
The Independent Probe Publisher averred that the ‘Following the Money’ project serves as the launching pad for greater media collaboration and networking by reporters to ensure there is total transparency and accountability in the public sector, and that there should be no stone left unturned in the process ensuring public officials who misapply or misdirect public monies are made to account.
The Independent Probe training worship with support from the OSIWA, reached a resolution between reporters and the Independent Probe Newspaper to collaborate in information sharing on transparency and accountability issues through the establishment of a Reporters’ Network with the mission of conducting regular investigative reports on issues in the public sector and reporting on these issues with the hope of increasing public awareness on transparency and accountability in the public sector.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Daily Observer Reporter William Harmon lauded the management of the Independent Probe and its partners for the worthy venture gear towards sustaining democracy in post war Liberia.
Harmon expressed confidence that the Reporters’ Network will accelerate information dissemination on transparency and accountability issues through the network newsrooms and other platforms.
He called on organizers and partners to expand the initiative to include more members of the Liberian media, mainly online and social platforms, which are significant catalysts to creating more awareness to the public on various reports of the network.