Doha Debates Chairman Addresses Arab Investigative Journalists

June 20, 2010

Amman, November 22 2009: Doha Debates chairman Tim Sebastian gave two workshops on in-depth interview techniques Arab journalists on
Saturday and Sunday at the second Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism ( ARIJ ) conference. Taking place for only the second time, the ARIJ conference and has quickly become recognised as the leading event for Arab journalists intent on developing their investigative skills. An impressive 232 journalists attended the conference, hailing from 17 Arab countries. Speaking in front of a packed hall of journalists, Sebastian explained the responsibility that journalists have to members of the public and the importance of acting as a watchdog against abuse and corruption. “An interview – in my opinion – is one thing. It is a cross examination on the basis of facts – nothing else.  You are in a court; the court of public opinion. You are looking for these important people to justify their views, their actions and their statements. This may be the only time that the public will get to see these people held to account”. Participants were then asked by Sebastian to take part in a mock interview with a member of the Doha Debates team playing the part of the Israeli government spokesman defending the actions of his government over last year’s conflict in Gaza. ARIJ executive Rana Sabbagh-Gargour described the impact that Tim Sebastian and ARIJ trainers have made at the conference. “An interview is the crux of any investigation and it is extremely important that journalists are able to maximise these opportunities when they come around. Journalists across the Arab region are regular followers of the Doha Debates and ARIJ is delighted that those participating in the conference have been able to learn from one of television’s great interviewers”. ENDSAbout ARIJ ARIJ was launched in 2005 and seeks to promote a professional culture of investigative journalism and to encourage cross-border networking. Besides the annual conference, ARIJ provides Arab reporters with specialised training, small grants and pre-publication legal screening. For more information on ARIJ please

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