In these restrictive circumstances of press freedom, it is important that citizens and journalists work together to keep independent information fluid.
–Luis Botello, ICFJ's Deputy Vice President of News Initiative and Impact.
A new program led by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) will expand the capacities of citizen journalists and news organizations to identify, collect, and produce news and information in Nicaragua, a country where independent media and journalists are constantly censored. Due to the limited space for independent news, many journalists have fled the country, leaving a gap in information. Nicaraguan citizens try to fill this gap by reporting the news through social media.
About the Program:
The program titled, Media Literacy, Citizen Journalism and Investigation in Nicaragua, aims to empower and support media organizations, members of civil society, and professional journalists in order to help them identify and report multimedia stories related to the daily life of Nicaraguans, as well as issues of public interest that affect human rights and transparency. Through media literacy training and multimedia reporting, the program will foster collaboration between citizens and professional journalists in hopes of creating a citizen journalism hub to better cover local events in the country. ICFJ has partnered with Connectas, a journalistic platform in the Americas, in order to oversee the investigations in Nicaragua.
ICFJ will work with two main objectives:
Objective 1: The creation of the Citizen Journalism Hub to promote media literacy among professional journalists and civil society representatives, including media influencers.
Objective 2: Strengthen investigative journalism in Nicaragua.
This program will include:
• Six media literacy workshops for citizen journalists and professional journalists.
• Virtual mentoring between local professional journalists and citizen journalists.
• Twenty small grants for multimedia reports
• A Citizen Journalism Hub
• An investigation program that will result in seven deep investigative stories.