Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov. 18, 2017 – ARIJ-supported Iraqi journalist Asaad Al-Zalzali won the top prize at the seventh Global Shining Light Awards ceremony in Johannesburg on Saturday for a TV investigation exposing corruption in Iraq’s Ministry of Education.
Together with photographer Thaer Khaled, he disclosed how $200 million allocated for new public schools in Iraq disappeared.
Zalzali, with the backing of Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), followed the money to a bank and to another country. The Award was split between Zalzali and colleagues who investigated extra-judicial killings in Nigeria.
The award was handed out at the end of the Global Investigative Journalists Network (GIJN) conference in Johannesburg, attended by over 1100 investigative journalists, including 25 ARIJEANS sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the Norwegian Association for Critical and Investigative Research (SKUP).
The award honors investigative journalism conducted in a developing country, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions. The award drew a record 211 submissions from 67 countries this year. Only four prizes were handed out.