Comprehensive Manual for Arab Investigative Journalists Released

June 20, 2010

AMMAN (JT) – Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), a media support network promoting in-depth reporting, on Tuesday released a comprehensive manual for investigative reporters in three languages: Arabic, English and French. “A Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Reporters” integrates best international practices and standards of investigative reporting customised and practised in the Arab world through the ARIJ network of editors and journalists in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Bahrain, Palestine and Yemen, according to an ARIJ statement. Mark Hunter, the principal author and editor of the guide, which is available on (, said the manual “fills a major gap in the literature of investigative journalism” worldwide. “It also equips journalists of the 21st century with a simple and clear working methodology, from A to Z, to produce bullet-proof investigations”, he added. Hunter, a veteran investigative journalist since 1980 and professor of media and communications at INSEAD University of Paris 2, was assisted by several Arab and European media practitioners and academics involved in the ARIJ network to produce the journalist-friendly manual laid out in 12 chapters. The last chapter documents the working experiences of a dozen Arab journalists who produced award-winning investigations with the help of the Amman-based ARIJ, established in 2005 under a grant approved by the Danish parliament. The methodology of the manual has been tested by all trainers, coaches and journalists operating under the network, according to the statement. They include seasoned journalists like the internationally renowned investigative TV journalist Yosri Fouda (Egypt), Pia Thordsen (Denmark), Rana Sabbagh-Gargour (Jordan), Nils Hanson (Sweden), Luuk Sengers (the Netherlands) and Flemming Svith (Sweden). Fouda is currently running a five-day workshop on investigative journalism skills at the newly founded Jordan Media Institute. UNESCO funded the production cost of the manual to “confirm support for this pioneering project and commitment to fulfil its mandate of fostering free, independent and pluralistic media for development, democracy and dialogue”. “We very much appreciate this excellent manual on investigative journalism by ARIJ, and believe it will contribute to improving the quality of investigative reporting in the region,” the statement quoted UNESCO Deputy Assistant Director General of Communication and Information Mogens Schmidt as saying. Sabbagh-Gargour, ARIJ executive director, said the network will distribute the manual for free to private and public media operating across the region, and to schools teaching mass communication and media as a source for training and inspiration. 5 August 2009

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