Covid-19: How Technology,AI Has Aided Investigative Journalism - ICIR Head of Newsroom
The Head of the Newsroom at the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Yekeen Akinwale, has spoken to TECHMIRROR MAGAZINE on how Technology and Artificial Intelligence has aided doing investigative reporting.
He said this in reference to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking on how Technology has aided investigative reporting, he said; "Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Technology has aided alot about Journalism. For instance the wayback machine helps you to bring back links that may have become incompatible.
We also have google reverse image and many other tools" he noted. Speaking on Fake news during the covid-19, he said, "Going forward in this era of fakenews, we have also used Technology tools to fackcheck.
Currently, with our inability to physically move around, we have relied on phone interviews, whatsapp conversations to aggregate our contents. We have also deployed video conferencing tools such as Zoom and skype for effectiveness of our activities amid the pandemic"he stated.
Yekeen while commenting on the ongoing pandemic and if Technology has made the quality of investigative reports to improve noted that there are limitations to what can be covered due to restriction in movement.
"We have not been able to cover some parts in investigative reporting due to restriction of movement. For instance we can use Twitter and other social media platforms to conduct investigations but there are some places where Technology has not gotten and you have to be physically there to gather information or talk to people or do factfinding " the International Centre for Investigative Reporting Head of Newsroom noted.
"For me the place of Technology in what we do has become increasingly important, taking a look at artificial intelligence for instance, what it does is mind blowing. As an investigative journalist, 50% of what you do is research and you cannot do research without Technology. When you sit down at the back with your laptop or desktop, you deploy all manners of tools to research before you move to the field" Yekeen stated.
Speaking on use of Drones, he emphasized that it has become increasingly important in today's journalism "Drones have also made it easier, i have witnessed its usage to cover aerial views and i must say that it is very important for use in today's society. The future of Technology in investigative reporting is very bright" he said.
TECHMIRROR MAGAZINE reports that Nigeria and many other countries have shutdown as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread. Media houses have also been affected with risks to doing their on-field works. Many media houses have also asked their reporters to stay back and work from home.