Establishing of investigative team in the newsroom – my dream is coming true

Text by Sasa Lekovic
Freelance investigative reporter and trainer

Working with the team at the Daily Star was like a dream coming true.

First of all, I was working in all South East European countries as investigative reporting trainer as well as in Armenia, Nigeria and Palestine but never been in South Asia before. Secondly, I have been hired by many international media organisations so far but never worked with Fojo Media Institute.

There were two challenges I have been faced with when I received the email from Sofia Hultqvist, Program Manager of the “Improving Investigative Journalism” Project in Bangladesh who asked me to work with The Daily Star newspaper based in Dhaka. The Daily is in English with the biggest circulation in Bangladesh.

But the third challenge looked like the biggest and most exciting one. Fojo offered me to work “in-house” with a group of journalists giving them investigative reporting training combining theory and practice – using examples from already researched and published investigative stories (done by myself and others) and developing the trainees’ story ideas.

The second step of the project is meant to be establishing of The Daily Star investigative reporting team what includes a new workflow pattern too.

To make it short – looks like my dream is coming true. Because from my experience that is the best way to strengthen newsroom capabilities along with building specific investigative strategy. Actually, it is absolutely perfect synergy. If possible to get of course.

In The Daily Star it is possible. That became clear the very first day of my stay there. Two weeks I worked very hard with 12 journalists selected by their editors. They had two shifts – first with me on investigative issues and second working on everyday tasks in the newsroom.

To be honest I almost did not leave Then Daily Star building at all. Working with those guys who were very keen to learn and use all the knowledge, tricks and tips immediately was so exciting and after my “shift“ I stayed with them in the newsroom helping them to cope with urgent matters.

Fortunately, Fojo booked me a hotel within a 5-minute walk distance from The Daily Star.