A total of two hundred and three reporters were trained during the pilot edition of the Pro-Engage: House-to-House project conceived by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and executed through funding partnership with the British High Commission. The initiative, which held from Monday 19 to Friday 30 January 2015, took advocacy for investigative reporting from one media house in Nigeria to the other. It provided capacity support for the creation and or improvement of investigative reporting desks in eight selected media houses in Lagos and Abuja.
The media houses trained are The New Telegraph, Media Trust, The Leadership, The Nation, The Guardian, The Premium Times, The News and Television Continental. The Wole Soyinka Centre staff alongside its faculty comprising veteran investigative journalism professionals visited seven media houses to conduct the training for members of staff and followed up with workshops for representatives of the eight media houses.
The faculty for the capacity development programme included Prof Lai Oso, Dean of the School of Communication of the Lagos State University (LASU); Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, WSCIJ Founder; Mr Theophilus Abbah, Sunday Editor, Media Trust; Mr Solomon Adebayo, Senior Correspondent, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; and Mr Musikilu Mojeed, Editor, Premium Times. The experience of the Wole Soyinka Centre proves that there is a need for continuous training and retraining of media professionals to ensure the revival of the culture of investigative reporting.
At the end of the maiden House-to-House project, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and its partner, the British High Commission directly reached journalists from all cadres of the media with the advocacy for investigative journalism. The Centre is convinced that the intervention will contribute to improved thoroughness of news reporting and better position the Nigerian media to effectively perform its role in shaping the polity.