Journalists have a great responsibility and play an important role in the fight against transnational organized crime. By reporting on criminal activity, monitoring the integrity and independence of governance and mobilizing public opinion, independent journalists and the media are critical to holding governments to account and motivating civil society advocacy within a framework of democratic governance.
Yet in key countries where organized crime has taken root, their capacity remains low, and their security increasingly tenuous. It is said to be more dangerous to be a journalist reporting on organized crime, than on conflict. 35% of journalists killed in the last ten years were reporting on organized crime or corruption.
As a consequence, in 2014 the Global Initiative will partner with two organizations, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), to pilot a week-long training for independent journalists in West Africa and the Sahel. If effective, this approach the training will then be replicated for other relevant regions, within the Global Initiative’s broader programme of work on Governance, Democracy and State Fragility.