SIRAJ – The Syrian Investigative Unit “SIRAJ” won the second place at the “Orientation Center for Media Initiatives” Award for its fourth consecutive year at the International Journalists’ Network (IJNet) in the Arabic version of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in Washington.
Each year, the Award is given to the emerging media initiatives in Middle East and North Africa (MENA), which provide a successful administrative and structural model that drives Arab journalism leaders to progress and become more professional.
SIRAJ competed with 15 emerging media projects after being selected from 150 projects submitted earlier this year to join the center. Later, eight finalists were nominated after being supervised by the center’s supervisors.
Over the course of a year, the mentors from the “Orientation Center” provided the participating projects with tools and knowledge on project management and public administration, technical, digital skills and mobile devices, and the way to develop strategies to help start-ups projects. Eight participants who proved their seriousness during the training period were invited for A week-long training camp end of last year in Jordan in conjunction with the annual conference of (ARIJ) Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism.
According to the International Journalists Network (IJNet), the eight competing projects, including the SIRAJ, have been chosen upon different criterion such as efficiency, the high potential for development, the ability to adopt clear plans for the sustainability of the project, in addition to the quick response of the project owner to the requirements defined by the Center in advance.
“SIRAJ deserved the second prize at the Orientation Center in its fourth session because of the diligence and commitment of the team both to the ongoing investigations and to the efforts given with the supervisor to develop work plans and models that contribute mainly to the continuity of SIRAj as a new project”, said Madonna Khafaga, Program Director of IJNet.
The Syrian Investigative Journalism Unit (SIRAJ) was founded in early November 2016 by a group of Syrian journalists, aiming to disseminate investigative journalism in Syria and to enable Syrian F/M journalists to prove their presence at this type of journalism.
Since its inception, the Unit has produced a number of journalistic investigations. Moreover, SIRAJ trained a number of Syrian journalists on the basics of investigative journalism, and on gender-sensitive investigative journalism.