“I feel strongly that as a journalist my role is to tell the stories of people I have met, especially those who suffer various forms of violation. I would like to help people know what their rights are – to investigate shortfalls and fill the accountability gap that exists between commitments and actions by those who govern us.”

As a young man growing up in Zambia, I always had a strong interest in the media – and I got my first “break” volunteering for a community radio station shortly after leaving school.

Passionate about community service and the role of journalists in standing up for the rights of ordinary people, I pursued a career in broadcasting before embarking on the London School of Journalism (LSJ)’s distance learning journalism course.

Although I gained plenty of experience producing programmes for TV and radio, I felt I needed some formal training to help give my career a clearer focus.

I was particularly keen to branch out into news writing and develop my interest in investigative journalism.

I completed the course, achieving a diploma with distinction, and I believe the studies have helped me to reach a wider audience, both locally and internationally.

By the time I embarked on the course, I already had one major award to my credit, from the Media Institute of Southern Africa for my coverage of HIV/AIDS issues and women’s rights.

In 2011 I scooped second prize in a World Bank sponsored national awards for Zambian journalists – which in turn secured me a three-month placement at The Mail and Guardian’s Centre for Investigative Journalism in South Africa, where I had various investigative stories published in the Mail and Guardian Newspaper and local media (You can sample some of these stories on this link: http://mg.co.za/author/charles-mafa).

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