Timveni Trains Children in Investigative Journalism

Makanda drilling the learners Makanda drilling the learners - pic by Hastings Jimani

At least 80 children aged between 11 and 18 in Mulanje are undergoing basic investigative journalism on harmful traditional practices under the 18+ media project on ending child marriages implemented by Timveni media organization in the district.

Timveni’s 18+ Project Coordinator, Ernest Makanda, told Zodiak Online that the initiative is aimed at equipping the targeted children with skills on identifying and publishing or broadcasting traditions that have negative impacts on children.

“We have different traditions in various communities, some are good, others are harmful. What we are driving at with this initiative is to equip these children with investigative journalism skills so that they identify and report archaic traditions that have potential of spoiling their future,” said Makanda.

He said the children have also been trained to be very objective in their investigations and not threatening duty bearers.

Matron of Timveni 18+ Club at Nkanda Primary School, Grace Masikini, said the school expects children to assist in ending challenges that affect fellow children in their communities after undergoing this training.

“Child marriages and teenage pregnancies are common here and we expect significant reductions of these cases with advocacies from these journalists,” said Masikini.

Standard 8 learner at Nkanda Primary School, Bridget Bizawell, hopes the training will help her advocate for rights of children in her community.

“Having undergone this journalism training, it is like my dream of becoming a journalist has started materializing and it is my prayer that this dream will become a reality one day,” said Bridget.

The training targeted children from Traditional Authorities Nkanda and Juma.

Timveni has developed a basic journalism training manual which they are using in the training.

The manual provides basic, easy-to-read and understand, practical aspects of investigative journalism, identifying and following up on relevant/newsworthy issues, interviewing skills, writing and reporting among others.

The project is funded by Plan International Malawi and Nokrin.

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