In a ceremony charged with symbolism, Beninese journalist Cécile Goudou was elected president of the Réseau Dupont-Verlon pour le journalisme d’investigation (REJI) at the association’s official launch. Created in memory of journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, who were murdered in 2013, the initiative aims to promote excellence in investigative journalism in Africa.
Cécile Goudou, who currently holds the position of editorial secretary at Benin’s national radio station, took the opportunity to recall the roots of this unique initiative. « REJI is a heritage that we must cherish. Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon have left a void in the world of journalism. Our aim is to perpetuate their memory and promote investigative journalism in Africa and beyond, » she stressed.
The new President also highlighted the challenges facing REJI, particularly in a saturated associative environment. She asserted that the network’s future lies in promoting journalism of excellence, centered on Africa and driven by Africans themselves. REJI’s slogan, « train, train to better inform », sums up this vision perfectly.
The launching ceremony was attended by trainees from the 10th cohort of the Ghislaine Dupont Claude Verlon scholarship, students from the Ivory Coast Institute of Communication Sciences and Techniques, and a delegation from France Médias Monde (FMM) and Radio France Internationale (RFI) led by FMM CEO Marie-Christine Saragosse. The latter praised REJI’s commitment to perpetuating the memory of the two RFI reporters. She also called for consideration to be given to a possible collaboration with a view to financial support from the FMM Group to strengthen the interconnection of young African journalists.
Denis Chastel, president of the association of friends of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, was delighted to see the fight for the truth about the murder of the two reporters being taken further by REJI. The association, which has been active for over ten years, continues to fight to shed light on this tragedy.
In addition, the launch of the Dupont-Verlon Network for Investigative Journalism marks an important step in the promotion of quality journalism in Africa, while perpetuating the memory of two journalists who dedicated their lives to the search for the truth. Cécile Goudou and her team have the onerous task of raising the profile of investigative journalism on the continent, and inspiring a new generation of reporters determined to bring African stories to light.