Investigative Journalism 101 training series successfully completed


“It was a turning point in my career to have an opportunity to critically review my own reporting as a young journalist and I learned a lot about investigative reporting, building from the fundamentals” says Koshala Gunavardhana, a freelance journalist from Hambantota, in Sri Lanka’s deep-south. Koshala’s experience was not an isolated one. Many emerging, young journalists from across the country expressed similar sentiments after going through the intensive two-day training in investigative journalism.

The recently concluded “Investigative Journalism Fundamentals” virtual training series was designed and delivered by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) offering a comprehensive understanding in the investigative journalism fundamentals, research and reporting methodologies, ethical standards and safety.

Under CIR’s flagship training series, “Investigative Journalism 101,” over 160 journalists have been trained through 10 training programs from August – September 2021.

The program’s objective was to offer cutting edge training in investigative reporting to a select group of journalists in the fundamentals of investigative journalism and mainstream the industry best practices. These enthusiastic participants included over 50 women journalists who valued to opportunity not just to upskill themselves but also to produce investigative reports following the training.

The trainings, conducted in Sinhala, Tamil and English, were delivered by Dilrukshi Handunnetti, Shihar Aneez and Ananda Jayasekara, three renowned investigative journalists.

A select group from among the participants were offered fellowships to develop an in-depth report under the mentorship of senior journalists, an additional step to capacitate the trained journalists to ensure the development of high quality reporting. Over 50 in-depth stories are currently being developed under the fellowship scheme.

The training series was delivered under the theme “Journalism for Change,” a unique initiative supported by the UNDP Sri Lanka and the European Union to positively influence the media landscape through new media narratives.

In addition to the IJ training series, CIR guided a group of journalists in visual storytelling and trained another group of 300 persons including journalists, civil society actors and concerned citizens in information literacy under CIR’s extremely popular media literacy initiative.