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Reporting on illicit finance in Africa

Updated: Thu, 3 Jul 2014

Opportunities for journalists and media organisations from across AfricaBack to top

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النسخة العربيـة

Thomson Reuters Foundation is working with a group of Africa-based organisations to run a three-year programme assisting African media on the reporting of illicit finance and tax abuse. The programme runs from 2014-16 and is supported by the Norwegian development agency, Norad.

African economies lose huge sums of money every year through practices such as tax evasion and avoidance, often carried out by large companies. However, this phenomenon receives little attention and is rarely the subject of in-depth investigation.

Thomson Reuters Foundation believes that African media has a vital role to play in bringing this issue to light and exposing tax abuse where it is taking place. We also believe that collaboration between journalists and media organisations across borders is essential when reporting on money flows between countries.

We are seeking outstanding journalists and ambitious, independent media organisations to join us in this new project.

For journalistsBack to top

We are looking for skilled investigative or financial/business journalists based anywhere in Africa to take part in a long-term scheme that will develop their ability to report on illicit finance and tax abuse. 

Benefits of the scheme:

  • Selected journalists will take part in two intensive workshops (3-5 days each) covering illicit finance, reporting on companies, accounts and budgets, and investigative techniques
  • Participating journalists will then be part of a regional team of reporters focussing on illicit finance. Experienced investigative journalists will coordinate the team and the production of stories and investigations
  • Journalists will have access to story leads and editorial advice from experienced reporters, and will be invited to share their own expertise with participants from other regions
  • Collaborative investigations will be available for publication/broadcast in the media outlets of participating journalists

Journalists who take part must commit to all elements of the programme. Participants will sign an agreement to this effect. 

Workshops are provisionally scheduled for September and December and will take place in one of the following locations: Kampala, Johannesburg, Dakar, or Rabat. 

What we are looking for:

  • Journalists with at least two years of professional experience
  • Journalists with experience of investigative journalism or reporting on companies/finances
  • Both freelancers and staff journalists may apply. Journalists working for a news organisation will need consent from their editor to take part. Freelancers should provide evidence that one or more media organisations will be willing to take their work. 
  • Journalists working in any medium or multiple media are welcome to apply (print, online, radio or television)

Applications for the scheme in 2014 have now closed. However we will be running the scheme again in 2015. If if you wish to express your interest in the scheme for 2015 you are welcome to complete our application form - click here to access the online form

For media organisations and newsroomsBack to top

We are looking to work with independent media organisations based anywhere in Africa to help them become 'flagship' centres for the investigation of illicit finance and tax abuse. 

We would like to establish relationships with media organisations that are motivated to report on and investigate these issues. Newsrooms will have access to bespoke in-house training and consultancy from a range of experts, including current and former Reuters journalists and editors. 

We also wish to learn from what newsrooms in Africa are already doing and share best practice across borders. 

The support we offer is broad, encompassing hands-on journalism and investigative techniques, management of newsrooms and investigations, and business models. We take a collaborative approach, working closely with media organisations to identify their needs and build on their strengths. 

We would like to hear from media organisations which are:

  • Independent
  • Producing strong journalism on finance/business
  • Producing or working on investigations – or motivated to do so
  • Currently financially stable – or have good prospects of achieving stability

We invite representatives of eligible media organisations to send expressions of interest to TRFmedia@thomsonreuters.com with the subject line: ‘Illicit finance media organisation application’. Please address the following points: 

  • Give an overview of your media organisation
  • Is the organisation independent? Briefly explain how it is owned and run in a way that ensures independence
  • What is your track record in business/finance reporting, and/or investigative journalism? Please provide examples of notable stories, including stories which have had an impact
  • Give a financial picture of the organisation. What are the sources of revenue and to what extent do they cover the operating costs? What are the future prospects? 

There is a rolling deadline for expressions of interest from media organisations – they may be submitted at any time. However, we encourage interested organisations to contact us as soon as possible because a limited number of media organisations will be able to engage in the programme.

Partner organisationsBack to top

Thomson Reuters Foundation is working with the following organisations on this project:

African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) - based in Uganda

Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) - based in South Africa

Institut Superieur de l'Information et de la Communication (ISIC) - based in Morocco

Centre d’Etudes des Sciences et Techniques de l’Information (CESTI) - based in Senegal

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