What do you do when you’re a journalist under government pressure to stop? You probably hope that you can keep reporting, but you know you’re also taking a massive risk.
Over the years, One World Media has heard first hand from media organisations in developing countries about the intimidation that happens when they stand up to corrupt governments. We also hear about how they keep going.
Isam Uraiqat, Editor-in-Chief at AlHudood and winner of the One World Media Special Award 2018, uses satire and comedy to shed light on current and dominant issues related to the Middle East.
Despite being charged under Jordan’s new cyber crime law of disturbing relations with neighbouring countries, Isam has not stopped his work. He continues to reach an increasing readership for his Onion-Style website.
The difficulty of reporting on governments corruption and continuing media coverage is a tightrope that the nominees of the 2019 Special Award nominees have also been walking.
Radio Fresh, a radio station based in Syria, is known to be an independent and outspoken voice for human rights. In November 2018, the Radio Fresh founder, Raed Fares, and one of its reporters, Hamoud Juneid, were assassinated by armed men, suspected to be connected to an al-Qaeda affiliated extremist group. They continue to operate despite the clear dangers to the team.
For Bihus and Salam Afghanistan Media Organization, being a watchdog to corruption is at the heart of what they do and they recognise the implications for their work. They continue despite potential risks.
SAMO’s investigative journalism has brought the corrupt behaviour of officials to communities across the region through local broadcasts. At the same time they develop programs to connect governments to communities, trying to regain trust.
Bihus.Info TV program “Our Money with Denys Bihus” exposes corrupt schemes of Ukrainian officials. Their efforts have so far led to the initiation of more than 120 criminal proceedings against corrupt officials.
As society’s watchdogs, media organisations around the world ensure government accountability and inform people of what is going on in the world around them. Yet they are increasingly under pressure to report against the backdrop of bans, threats and restrictions around the world.
Journalists and filmmakers should not have to take personal risks to do their job, we all need to stand by them and demand free and open media.
Gemma Bradshaw – Director of One World Media