News - New research grants for journalists in Africa
A new program for research grants is starting in four Western African countries. It is run by the Danish association for investigative journalism FUJ in cooperation with Danish International Media Support and will give research grants based upon a journalists-help-journalists model. Colleagues from Benin, Togo, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso can apply.
The program is modeled over the Scoop-project, which successfully has given research grants to colleagues in the Balkans since 2003. Danish journalists give their volunteer time to help distributing the grants, that are paid by the Danish government. Including volunteers from FUJ is chosen as a model to guarantee independence from economic interest and a credible reputation.
The aim of PAIR is twofold: Firstly to faciliate very good investigative stories through research grants, and secondly to strengthen networks between journalists both on a local, regional and international level. The stories do go across borders and cooperation of journalists is an obvious tool.
PAIR will hopefully be a good supplement to existing research grants in Africa. Large parts of Africa are covered by FAIR, the Forum for African Investigative Reporters.
Interestingly recent researches supported by FAIR show, that African and European journalists work on similar subjects. The most recent cross-border story done by FAIR concerned human trafficking. The African trafficking story was done by a large team from South Africa in the South to Egypt in the North. A previous FAIR story dealt with pharmaceuticals, another subject of cross-border investigations also of interest in Europe.