Investigative reporting, press freedom journal launches in London

Spearheaded by journalist Mohamed Fahmy and broadcaster Yousri Ishaq, The Investigative Journal (TIJ) aims to promote objective reporting through reports and video content with contributions from journalists across the world. (Screenshot/TIJ)
Updated 08 July 2019

Investigative reporting, press freedom journal launches in London

  • Project is spearheaded by journalist Mohamed Fahmy and broadcaster Yousri Ishaq
  • One of the major issues TIJ focuses on is press freedom

LONDON: An investigative news portal that promises to fight back against “fake news” and provide content “marginalized by mainstream media” launches in London on Tuesday.
Spearheaded by journalist Mohamed Fahmy and broadcaster Yousri Ishaq, The Investigative Journal (TIJ) aims to promote objective reporting through reports and video content with contributions from journalists across the world.
Video content and investigations by the journal contain open-source research, first-hand investigations and analysis by journalists, and experts and scholars from a range of countries and backgrounds.
The website is funded by Ishaq, who has worked at the Middle East Broadcasting Network in the US, and launched TIJ on a not-for-profit model.
TIJ will begin filming a weekly studio-based interview show in New York, Vancouver and London starting in July.
Founded in 2018 and officially launching at an event at Southwark Cathedral in London, TIJ has reported on a range of political, socioeconomic and environmental issues, including last year’s Qatari cyberattack, illegal migration in Libya and deaths associated with air pollution.
In 2018, Qatar and its proxies cyberattacked more than 1,400 people — including high-profile individuals such as US government officials, ambassadors and UN diplomats — in North America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
TIJ’s motto is “Truth in Journalism,” and its editorial ethos focuses on “ethical news gathering and objective reporting to shine a spotlight on human rights and helping safeguard the fundamentals of democracy.”
One of the major issues TIJ focuses on is press freedom, something close to the hearts of Fahmy and Ishaq.
Fahmy himself was arrested in Egypt in 2013 while working for Al Jazeera English on charges of “conspiring with a terrorist group and fabricating news,” before being released in 2015.
Citing a report by Reporters Without Borders that recorded 2018 as the deadliest year for journalists — with 80 murdered, 348 imprisoned and a further 60 taken hostage — he said: “Five journalists on our advisory board have been prosecuted, jailed, or abducted while doing their jobs.
“It is their determination to continue reporting from exile in the face of real threats that inspired me to join TIJ. I hope their work will inspire our readers the same way.”
One of TIJ’s contributors is Lindsey Snell, who was kidnapped and held hostage by Al-Qaeda militants while working in Syria in July 2016.
Tuesday’s event will open with an address by Tamara Pearl, the vice president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation and sister of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered by Al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002.
Two panels at the London launch event will also focus on press freedom. Award-winning Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui and the exiled former editor-in-chief of the Turkish Review, Kerim Balci, will talk about the Reporters Without Borders findings, while Fahmy will discuss how civil society can protect journalists with Sarah Clarke, head of Europe and Central Asia for Article 19, an international organization defending freedom of expression and information.


‘Juhayman: 40 years on:’ Arab News’ multimedia project tells full story of 1979 Makkah siege

Updated 19 November 2019

‘Juhayman: 40 years on:’ Arab News’ multimedia project tells full story of 1979 Makkah siege

  • Featuring interviews with key players such as Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s English-language newspaper tells the full story of the unthinkable event that cast a shadow over its society for decades
  • As part of its Deep Dive series online, featuring documentary-style multimedia stories, Arab News looks back at this event in a way no Saudi publication has done before

Forty years ago this week, on Nov. 20, 1979, a group of militants did the unthinkable: They seized the Grand Mosque in Makkah, taking people hostage inside in a two-week standoff with Saudi forces.

Until recently, the crisis remained too painful for Saudis to examine fully for almost four decades. Now Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s leading English-language daily, is looking back at the event in a way that no publication in the Kingdom has done before: with a multimedia Deep Dive story online at arabnews.com/juhayman-40-years-on.

“The 1979 attack on Makkah’s  Grand Mosque halted major social development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, negatively affecting a progressing nation for generations to come,” said Rawan Radwan, the lead reporter on the project, who is based in Jeddah. “At Arab News, we delved deep into the matter to uncover the story of Juhayman, the terrorist who seized the holiest site and shook the Islamic world. It’s a story that for many years struck fear in the hearts of the Saudi people, yet has not been covered in such depth in local or international media — until now.”

Arab News launched its Deep Dive series earlier this year as an engaging new way to showcase its in-depth storytelling on key topics, enlivened by audio, video and animated graphics. Its first story was an in-depth account of the space mission by the first Arab astronaut, Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman; the siege of Makkah is another story from the Kingdom’s past that it chose to revisit.

Extensive research was conducted over two months in several cities, including Makkah itself, and involved teams in five of Arab News’ bureaus: Jeddah, Riyadh, Dubai, London and Beirut. The team interviewed key players such as Prince Turki Al-Faisal, then head of the General Intelligence Directorate, and re-created what happened in a series of interactive maps.

 

Juhayman: 40 years on
On the anniversary of the 1979 attack on Makkah's Grand Mosque, Arab News tells the full story of an unthinkable event that shocked the Islamic world and cast a shadow over Saudi society for decades
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