The Insider has launched a GoFundMe campaign to promote public interest journalism in Zimbabwe as it believes this is the only way to uplift the standards of living of the people of Zimbabwe.
The fund is being launched because journalism in Zimbabwe has largely been elitist.
It focuses on politicians and important people who use the media to promote “their own personalities” while ordinary people are “reduced to objects of pity”.
The fund aims to promote people-centred journalism which will seek to make authorities -politicians, community leaders, business people and anyone influential in society- accountable.
While it will also be highlighting problems or challenges that ordinary Zimbabweans face it will offer 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.
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 should expose wrong-doing or corruption by the powerful.
The grants will be managed by the editor and publisher Charles Rukuni and will be published in The Insider and will be syndicated for wider availability.
Rukuni has been a journalist since 1975 and has been a trainer/mentor for the past 23 years.
He was training editor for Africa Information Africa, a regional organisation that covered the entire Southern African Development Community, from 1996 to 2003.
Rukuni was peer mentor/investigations manager with the Forum for African Investigative Reporters, a continental organisation for investigative journalists whose secretariat was in Johannesburg, from 2009 to 2012.
There he contributed to, and co-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 mainly involved in setting up investigative journalism desks and mentoring journalists on investigative and public journalism interest stories at the leading independent newsrooms on the mainland and government owned ones in Zanzibar.
Those wishing to contribute to the fund can go to:
The grants will be rolled out as soon as the campaign raises the first US$1 000 and will be open to all journalists interested in serious in-depth reporting but are prepared to be mentored.
Names of all grantees will be published on the campaign website with links to their stories.