Three Days to the Raif Badawi Award Ceremony 2018

The winner of the 2018 Raif Badawi Award is “Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism” (ARIJ)
News07.10.2018Hend Shaheen
Employees of Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) - Independent Journalist Network
Employees of Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) - Independent Journalist Network Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), a Jordan-based independent network of journalists, is this year’s winner of the Raif Badawi Award for courageous journalists. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom will award the prize on 10 October 2018 at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) is an independent association of journalists founded in Amman, Jordan in 2005. It was the region’s first media organisation to focus on promoting investigative journalism in Arab newsrooms. Journalists collaborate within the network to generate investigative research on sensitive issues such as scandals in Jordanian orphanages and the misappropriation of funds for school building projects in Iraq. The organisation supports journalists and their print, radio, TV and online projects in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. ARIJ maintains a global network of contacts and supported Süddeutsche Zeitung, a leading German daily newspaper, in its investigations for the Panama Papers revelations, as an example.

What is ARIJ? - Rana Sabbagh, director of ARIJ speaks to usFriedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit

In its award justification, the nine-member independent jury noted: “We have chosen Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism because it is committed to informing the public and raising transparency in an increasingly difficult environment, often operating at risk to the journalists’ lives. At the same time, it supports journalists’ research projects and offers media trainings. Networks like ARIJ are a role model for journalists throughout the region: journalists who collaborate, cooperate on investigations, offer each other mutual support and publish collectively are stronger together than alone and can achieve more. Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism is a beacon of light in a darkening world.” 

Constantin Schreiber, TV presenter and co-founder of the award, welcomed the jury’s decision: “Peace needs freedom and freedom needs independent journalism. Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism is making an important contribution to establishing independent journalism in the Arab world. The work its members do is brave, inspired by passion, and highly deserving of being recognised through the Raif Badawi Award.”

Dr. René Klaff, former head of our Regional Office Middle East and North Africa and current head of the International Department of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom praised the jury’s decision: “The work accomplished by ARIJ constitutes a cornerstone on this crucial path toward freedom of expression and freedom of media in the MENA region.”

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, former justice minister of Germany and vice chair-person of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, congratulated the jury on its decision: “The ‘Badawi case’ deals with nothing less than the universal applicability of human rights. However, seventy years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, rights which seem self-evident to us remain the exception in the Arab world. The ARIJ network of journalists is such an exception. It has positioned itself as a forceful and persuasive advocate for human and civil rights in the Arab world. Its work transcends national boundaries.” 

Award ceremony to be held on 10 October 2018 at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

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This article was originally published on www.freiheit.org