Monday, 20 May 2013
SaharaReporters: Our Philosophy and Editorial Policy
SaharaReporters is conceived as a groundbreaking online forum whose mission is to pursue transparency, accountability and democratic ethos in Africa’s public and private spheres. The forum’s major aim is to empower all citizens of various African nations to actively demand and defend their democratic rights. Our journalistic mission is to beam a critical searchlight on the people and practices that undermine and subvert the democratic process.
We are Citizen Reporters, not professional journalists. We are, above all, citizens compelled by our desire for transparent governance and justice to scrutinize African leaders and to expose their unlawful activities that tragically undermine the developmental aspirations of African peoples. Our commitment is to ceaselessly report corruption and other kinds of official malfeasance. We are convinced that, by drawing attention to the corrupt and illicit activities of private and public officials, we not only arm the citizenry with the information to demand change but also force leaders to become more responsive to the tenets of accountability. The exposure of crime is the first step in its dismantling and elimination.
We depend on the efforts of concerned citizens who act whistleblowers as well as the main sources for our exposes. In a continent where much of the “professional” media is compromised, we make a point of investigating and reporting stories that the mainstream media dare not or will not report.
Whilst our ultimate goal is to cover all of Africa, our immediate focus is Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and one of its most generously endowed in terms of human and natural resources.
There is no question that a well-managed Nigeria would inspire, nourish and energize all of Africa and be an exemplary global citizen. A Nigeria that adheres to the tenets of democracy enshrined in her constitution can be a shining star to its neighbors in Africa and to people of African descent around the world.
Launched in 2006, SaharaReporters now serves as an indispensable watchdog for the mainstream media. Thanks to its influence and impact, professional journalists in Nigeria and elsewhere are challenged to do more investigative reports, to be more attentive to a multiplicity of perspectives, and to eschew partisan bias and conflicts of interest.
We believe that a fully reported society is key to a functioning society, and that a shackled press and uninformed citizenry constitute a liability to democracy.
In the context of Africa's often fettered, government-controlled, or cripplingly under-funded press, we believe that the Internet elevates the hopes of our citizens but also of the world beyond that change can be achieved in our time.
The information on this site, sometimes in the form of rare documents, photos, videos and audio records, comes from citizens anxious to see change. Our pages are free and open to everyone who wishes to contribute story tips, authentic information, or even rebuttals. Comments on our stories are updated 24 hours a day. SaharaReporters accepts story ideas from Nigerians and friends of Nigeria, particularly if they include documents that would facilitate our investigations. SaharaReporters maintains the faith that ordinary citizens, reporting a country about which they truly care, can build that country by opening up all the dark corners where both criminals and detractors try to hide.
Although most of our stories are sourced through ordinary citizens, we adhere to strict standards of verification in order to present authentic and evidence-based reports to our readers.
SaharaReporters neither pays for stories nor accepts payment for stories. We do not believe that financial value can be exchanged for patriotism or justice. In the interest of safeguarding our complete independence in editorial matters, we do not accept adverts from any governments – whether at the federal, state or local government levels – or from governmental agencies.