Paris, France April 14, 2020
The Syrian Investigative Reporting for Accountability Journalism (SIRAJ) has joined the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), a global network of NGOs supporting the training and sharing of information among investigative and data journalists.
SIRAJ is the third Arab investigative journalism reporting project to become member of the GIJN after the Amman-based Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) and Inkyfada.com in Tunisia.
Mohammad Bassiki, SIRAJ Executive Director, said that GIJN staff formally informed him on Monday of the board’s weekend decision to accept their membership request filed over a year ago.
SIRAJ, set up in 2016 with zero budget, is a collective of award-winning Syrian investigative reporters living in exile since the war begun in Syria in 2011.
They were inspired by the training and coaching on the production of investigations by ARIJ, the leading media support network promoting quality reporting across much of the region since 2005.
SIRAJ’s investigative unit has produced numerous investigations, many published in regional and international media such as the Beirut-based Raseef22.com and Daraj.com as well as several Swedish and UK media.
“Our membership in the GIJN is the first step on a long path to create and sustain the culture and practice of investigative journalism in Syria and the region”, he added. “This step will boost our ability as a network to support the mostly Syrian freelancers to complete investigations in line with best international practices”.
Syria is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, with over 200 reporters killed since the start if the country’s civil war.
SIRAJ is the first accountability journalism project in Syria.
Since launching, the group has evolved from a three-man core team into a consortium of 25 Syrian investigative reporters living and working inside and outside Syria. Their in-depth reports focus on conflict, health, environment and human rights issues in Syria.
The Copenhagen-based International Media Support (IMS), the Guardian Foundation and ARIJ were among the first to support the development of SIRAJ through engaging several of their members in a training project to support in-depth reporting.
In 2017, the group also received a mentoring award from the International Journalists’ Network which helped to establish a business and media plan for SIRAJ, as a nonprofit organization.
In a statement, Majdoleen Hassan, Arab World Editor at GIJN, said the SIRAJ Network is working “diligently and professionally” to utilize the skills of Syrian journalists inside and outside Syria to produce edge-cutting investigations into public issues of concern that are seldomly covered in other media.
“They have distinguished themselves by a constant stream of production and maximizing limited resources though regional and international collaborations” she said in a statement to www.SIRAJSY.net.
The GIJN, officially founded in 2003, has grown to 182 member organizations in 77 countries. Every two years, it holds the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which has brought together more than 8,000 journalists from 140 countries since 2001.
It provides resources and networking services to investigative journalists, assists in the formation and sustainability of “accountability” journalism centers around the world, and publishes in multiple languages latest tools, techniques and opportunities for those in the field.