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Human rights network trains journalists on how to adopt open source intelligence for investigative reporting

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The Human Rights Journalists Network (HRJN) recently trained journalists on how to employ Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) in carrying out investigative reporting. OSINT employs the use of varying methods for collecting, analysing, and making decisions about data accessible.

With the theme, ‘OSINT, advancing your Investigative skills’, the training, which was facilitated by a BBC Open-Source investigator, Bertram Hill, provided journalists the opportunity to maximise technology-based sources to produce compelling and evidence-based stories.

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The training, co-anchored by HRJN’s Coordinator, Kehinde Adegboyega, and Publisher of BONews Service, Blessing Oladunjoye, gave impetus to journalists whose works are focused on investigations, uncovering details shrouded from the public.

In his presentation, Hill demonstrated how open source investigation had aided him and the production team of BBC News Africa Eye in uncovering the real cause of the explosion that claimed 23 lives at Abule Ado in Lagos State on March 15, 2020.

According to him, OSINT tools can be accessed through sites such as Google Maps, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram tools. Other tools that could be used are Tweet deck, Google Alert, Scrapers, Google Earth Pro, and others.

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Adegboyega also engaged the facilitator on how finance could make OSINT investigation difficult for journalists in the country, describing the budget as a critical factor in verifying information about issues in the country.

On her part, Oladunjoye harped on the possibility of making OSINT tools accessible to journalists with disabilities as well as disseminating the information in accessible formats to persons with disabilities.

The facilitator acknowledged the challenges, stating that it is not that easy for radio journalists to tap on the tools, because OSINT employs visualisation, the way to go about the situation is to present the information in form of story-telling.

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