Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Middle East: Start Up Investigative Reporting Teams at Major News Outlets


Taking advantage of the “Arab Spring,” Amr El-Kahky is setting up investigative units at print and broadcast outlets in Egypt and its neighbors, helping them expose corruption and hold governments accountable.

At a pivotal time for the Middle East, Knight International Journalism Fellow Amr El-Kahky is launching teams of investigative reporters at news organizations across the region. His efforts have helped journalists gain more access to government documents than ever before, particularly in Jordan and the West Bank. His investigative unit in Jordan uncovered a vote-buying scheme ahead of the November 2010 parliamentary elections. Jordanian reporters also tackled the issue of childhood alcohol addiction—a controversial topic never covered in the past.

After El-Kahky’s West Bank team at Ma’an News Agency reported on allegations of medical malpractice, the Minister of Health went on national television to say that he would not allow such abuses to continue. El-Kahky is now launching investigative units at other media outlets in Tunisia.

Working with the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, he will help to build a network of regional investigative reporters who collaborate on cross-border stories. Investigative reports by El-Kahky’s trainees won two major awards at the prestigious Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) conference in Amman in December 2012. Radio Balad took the prize for the best radio investigative report and Al-Masry Al-Youm received a special award for investigating the escape of inmates from Egypt’s Al Marj Prison during the January 2011 revolution.

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Blogs

  • Oct 22010

    Investigative Journalism is Back in the Arab World

    It’s been almost two months since I took up the Knight Fellowship and six investigative journalism units in Egypt, Jordan and the West Bank are up and running.

    Training for both broadcast and print journalists at several different media outlets has been completed, and investigations are underway in the areas of stock exchange corruption, road accidents and even business by some influential business men who are also prominent politicians.

    In Jordan, Farah Al-Nas Radio has completed an investigation on child alcohol consumption in a Jordanian border region.

  • Jun 142010

    Tears and Laughs at the Knight Fellows Orientation

    Kathie Klarreich shed tears during a session on Journalistic Ethics during the Knight Fellowship orientation in the American capital Washington.

    She remembered how some video journalists handled the victims of Haiti’s Earthquake transmitting their suffering live on TV while they could’ve helped evacuating those under debris.

    I asked Kathie who’s heading to Haiti later this year to help revive the country’s devastated media why she cried: "Life and Humanity always come first" she said:

    But the orientation was not all about tears.

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