Fund for Public Interest Journalism in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s media has been elitist for almost four decades. It focuses on politicians and important people who use the media to promote “their own personalities”. Ordinary people are “reduced to objects of pity”.
This fund aims to change that through reporting focussed on ordinary people - that is men, women and children. It seeks to make authorities - politicians, community leaders, business people and anyone influential in society- accountable. Where there are problems or challenges, it offers possible solutions from the people because in most cases people know solutions to their problems but they do not have the means to implement those solutions.
What will the money be used for?
Under the fund, journalists will be provided grants to cover expenses to enable them to write good investigative public interest stories as well as a fee when the story is published. The stories must be of public interest and must be aimed at uplifting or bettering the standards of living of the community being covered or to expose wrong-doing or corruption by the powerful.
The stories will be required to meet all the requirements of a good investigative story as set out by investigative journalism organisations that are members of the Global Investigative Journalism Network. The names of all the recipients of the grants will be published on this page and a link to their published work will be provided. The project will start inviting applications for grants as soon as the fund raises the first $1 000 and start the ball rolling.
Who will manage the fund in Zimbabwe
The grants will be managed by Charles Rukuni who has been a journalism mentor/trainer for more than 20 years and has been a journalist since 1975. Rukuni has worked on similar projects with Africa Information Africa (1996-2003) where he was training editor for the regional organisation that covered the entire Southern African Development Community.
He was peer mentor/investigations manager with the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (2009-2012) a continental organisation of investigative journalists whose secretariat was in Johannesburg. There he contributed to and edited a transnational investigation entitled: Killing Soccer in Africa which was incorporated in the Global Investigative Journalism Casebook by the United Nations Education and Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). He also coordinated another investigation entitled: Pirates, smugglers and corrupt tycoons which was one of the seven finalists in the Daniel Pearl awards in 2011.
Rukuni has been working as an international mentor on a consultancy basis with the Tanzania Media Fund which was later renamed the Tanzania Media Foundation since 2013. He has been setting up investigative journalism desks and mentoring the journalists on investigative and public journalism interest stories at the leading independent newsrooms on the mainland and government owned ones in Zanzibar.
Rukuni has also been running The Insider since December 1990, initially as a printed, subscription-only, monthly, up to 2003 when it became no longer feasible to continue printing because of inflation. The Insider has been on the web since.
All the stories written under the fund will be published on The Insider website and will also be distributed to other publications.
Who We are
My name is Caroline Rukuni. I am a Zimbabwean currently based in Ireland. I am a chartered accountant and the daughter of Charles Rukuni. I started this GoFundMe page to assist my father to mentor and train young journalists to tell the story of the plight of ordinary Zimbabwean people. I believe that investment in youth will pave the way for a better future for the youth.
How will the money get to Zimbabwe
I will be responsible for withdrawing the funds and remitting the funds to Zimbabwe via World Remit, Mukuru.com or through direct bank transfer into a Foreign Currency Account. I will be responsible for maintaining an audit trail of all funds received and remitted to Zimbabwe including all transactions costs. I will not take any amount as payment to myself or receive any form of commission.
How will we account for monies spent:
The names of all grant recipients and the grant given will be published on this website. The links to their stories will also be provided. Charles Rukuni will be responsible for maintaining a register of grant income and expenditure.