Jordan summit calls for Arab media to support investigative journalism

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 07-12-2011

Investigative journalism must be embraced by Arab media outlets alongside regional legal changes in order to protect the right to information, a conference in Jordan has heard.

The fourth Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) conference, which concluded this week in Amman, reported success in building Arab journalists' confidence to practice their craft in seeking the truth, however challenges remain.
"What matters now is implementation," said Daoud Kuttab, chairman, ARIJ.
"We will continue to train journalists, but we also need to change the mentalities within media institutions into believing that supporting investigative reporting is in their best interest."
ARIJ operates in nine countries Middle East and North African countries; namely Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Bahrain, Palestine, Yemen and Tunisia.
The organisation will continue to train journalists, supervisors and media professors over the next three years, with 26 planned workshops that also train reporters on computer-assisted journalism and multimedia techniques.
The network will also support six investigative reports on television and radio, and 30 in print media, according to the Jordan Times.
Award winners from the conference included Raeda Hamra, a Jordanian journalist from Roya TV, who won the ARIJ's first prize for televised investigative reports uncovering financial violations in factories near Zarqa. Meanwhile, Egyptians Hisham Ghannam and Ahmad Ragab were given a special prize for their investigation into the escape of inmates from Al Marj Prison during the Egyptian Revolution earlier this year.
The fifth ARIJ conference will be held in Tunisia in 2012.