Second Regional Investigative Reporting Competition Opens

June 20, 2010

AMMAN (JT) – The Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) network announced this week its second annual investigative reporting competition. Print and audiovisual media journalists from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Bahrain, Yemen and Iraq can now submit their applications to the Amman-based network for this year’s competition, which will, for the first time, include a category for reports on environmental degradation, ARIJ said in a statement released on Tuesday. Results of the competition will be declared during the network’s second conference for Arab investigative journalists, due to take place in the capital in November, according to the statement. The winner in the category of the “best investigative report about pollution” will also have the chance to attend a UN conference on climate change slated for December in the Danish capital Copenhagen, ARIJ announced. The newly introduced category aims at encouraging Arab reporters to investigate human impact on the environment “as a result of the social, economic and political changes” in the Middle East, according to ARIJ Board Chairman Daoud Kuttab. “Effects of environmental destruction are reaching the whole world, and our region is part of this,” he said. Meanwhile, the network will publish next month the first investigative journalism manual in the region in Arabic, English and French, noted Kuttab, adding that the manual combines Western and Arab journalism tools with the region’s “specificities”. The chairman said the manual is designed to promote “quality” journalism in the region, which, he said, has too often been neglected in Arab media outlets. “ARIJ is spurring reporters in eight Arab countries to embrace investigative journalism by breaking the wall of silence on various topics often untouched due to demanding daily assignments, difficulty in accessing information, as well as a host of educational, political and social factors,” said Kuttab, who is also a columnist. Award-winning professor and journalist Mark Hunter, who is a founding member of the Global Investigative Journalism network, co-authored the manual along with Western and Arab media practitioners and academics, according to the statement. ARIJ recently concluded training the first batch of trainers from six countries on the new manual’s methodology, the statement said, adding the initiative is an attempt to “promote a sort of professional journalism that depends on documenting information and facts… to help decision makers bringing change for the public benefit”. In April, the network announced it expanded media training and investigation support activities to include Palestine, Yemen and Bahrain after having supervised more than 62 investigative reports in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt since its establishment in 2005 with the regional office in Amman. 5 June 2009

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