The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), through its Natural Resources and Extractives Programme (NAREP), last week began its flagship fellowship on oil and gas reporting.

The three-month fellowship kick-started after a three-day virtual training for select journalists in Nigeria to improve reporting of the natural resources sector, which held from March 2 to 4.

The centre said it received 1,429 applications from journalists and non-journalists across Nigeria from whom 17 journalists were shortlisted, and thereafter cut down to nine after interviews by an internal panel.

The journalists were picked from eight different media organisations, including Premium Times.

During the training session, participants were trained on how to tell data-driven stories in the oil and gas sector as well as the laws and regulations and inner workings of the sector.

Following the training, which was supported by the Natural Resource Charter, the centre said fellows will be paired with mentors who will serve editorial advisory roles, and they will be required to deliver at least two stories per month.

The fellowship comes with a benefit of N100,000 as a monthly stipend among advocacy opportunities, a statement released by the centre read.

“Oil and gas sector operations in Nigeria have traditionally been opaque with little or no transparency on the part of the government. This lack of openness has led to zero accountability, mismanagement of funds, revenue leakages and above all, the inability of the government to meet its financial obligation and to raise the quality of life of Nigerians,” NAREP’s team lead, Akintunde Babatunde, said.

“To respond to these challenges of access to information in the oil and gas sector, the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism is organising this flagship NAREP oil and gas media fellowship,” he added.

“Through the fellowship, the organisation plans to combine the tools of data aggregation, civic technology and investigative journalism to advance transparency and accountability in the extractive sector,” he said.

NAREP is a project of PTCIJ, PREMIUM TIMES’ sister organisation, which seeks to improve media and civil society capacity to demand transparency and accountability in the extractive sector by driving discussions around the sector and demanding change.

Last year, the project also rolled out grants to journalists for reportage on the extractive industry.


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