News - Global gathering of investigative journalists
At the conference the best investigative stories of 2008 were judged and awarded by a three-headed jury. They judged the articles concentrating on the difficulty of doing the story, the resources available to the reporter, the danger to the reporter, and the most important, the impact of the story. The winning article - Gangsterism and the faulty legal system - was written by Sonali Samarasinghe from Sri Lanka. In her story she writes about „how a government minister in Sri Lanka used his power and connections to the Prime Minister, to run roughshod over the media and the justice system. The article shows how important it is to cultivate sources, convince people to talk and gather the documentation to back it all up.“ The second prize winner article – The minister and the mining sector – written by Edik Baghdasaryan, from Armenia is investigating, why the country’s environment ministry was not interested in using the appearing ecological challenges to build up a strong and profitable mining sector. Three other stories were commanded as top category, Abuja Environmental Task Force by Solomon Adelbayo, The Government 60 bn Rands Arms Deal by the Investigation team at the Mail and Guardian and last but not least Child Alert by Anas Aremeyaw.
A global village
The participants and speakers represented countries from all around the world, Eastern Europe, The Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America so it was a really a global event. There were six main tracks with the topics of War on terror, Corruption and organized crime, Safety for journalists in war zones, Climate and environment, Computer-assisted reporting, and Facilitating investigative journalism. Beside the speeches, plenary and panel sessions, the participants had the chance to improve their computer skills to be able to analyze and investigate complex situations, with the help of advanced internet searching, using spreadsheets and databases, also to produce stories that can be easily overlooked by other media.
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