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