Amman – 9 November 2016 –Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) and Sweden’s Fojo Media Institute have launched the first round of online training to encourage cross-border investigations on corruption.
Twelve journalists from Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Palestine and Yemen took part in the first of four webinar training sessions. They discussed professional challenges hampering cross-border investigations in the region and how to overcome them.
Like ARIJ, Fojo is keen on building the professional capacity of Arab reporters, especially in terms of launching and managing cross-border teams.
“Corruption is a global issue and ARIJ journalists have to follow and expose this menace”, Rana Sabbagh, ARIJ Executive Director, told participants. “Unlike our European partners, we speak the same language, share a lot of cultural norm a lot of the issues affecting Arab societies are identical. Hence, we have all the ingredients that should encourage us to pursue corruption beyond our immediate border”.
The project, under a signed agreement, aims at capitalizing on the expertise of Fojo and a non-governmental organization “Eye on Corruption”.
Tuesday’s training will be followed by three more sessions before end of 2016. They will focus on how to finding outside partners to “follow the money trail and organized crime and corruption”.
Hamoud Almahmoud, head of ARIJ’s pioneering MENA Data and Research Desk talked about ARIJ’s role in exposing Arab officials involved in the Panama Papers, the world’s largest cross-border investigation to date. Almahmoud was also involved in SwissLeaks and other major cross-border investigative teams.
ARIJ is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. ARIJ is the only region-wide organization working in the Arab states on investigative journalism. ARIJ has trained more than 1800 journalists on investigative journalism, produced more than 450 investigations, and the ARIJ manual has been downloaded thousands of times. Recently, ARIJ has launched a university curricula about IJ in for the media faculties in the region to teach students on the emerging trend of IJ in the Arab World.