Investigative reporting, press freedom journal launches in London

Spearheaded by journalist Mohamed Fahmy and broadcaster Yousri Ishaq, The Investigative Journal (TIJ) aims to promote objective reporting through reports and video content with contributions from journalists across the world. (Screenshot/TIJ)
Updated 08 July 2019

Investigative reporting, press freedom journal launches in London

  • Project is spearheaded by journalist Mohamed Fahmy and broadcaster Yousri Ishaq
  • One of the major issues TIJ focuses on is press freedom

LONDON: An investigative news portal that promises to fight back against “fake news” and provide content “marginalized by mainstream media” launches in London on Tuesday.
Spearheaded by journalist Mohamed Fahmy and broadcaster Yousri Ishaq, The Investigative Journal (TIJ) aims to promote objective reporting through reports and video content with contributions from journalists across the world.
Video content and investigations by the journal contain open-source research, first-hand investigations and analysis by journalists, and experts and scholars from a range of countries and backgrounds.
The website is funded by Ishaq, who has worked at the Middle East Broadcasting Network in the US, and launched TIJ on a not-for-profit model.
TIJ will begin filming a weekly studio-based interview show in New York, Vancouver and London starting in July.
Founded in 2018 and officially launching at an event at Southwark Cathedral in London, TIJ has reported on a range of political, socioeconomic and environmental issues, including last year’s Qatari cyberattack, illegal migration in Libya and deaths associated with air pollution.
In 2018, Qatar and its proxies cyberattacked more than 1,400 people — including high-profile individuals such as US government officials, ambassadors and UN diplomats — in North America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
TIJ’s motto is “Truth in Journalism,” and its editorial ethos focuses on “ethical news gathering and objective reporting to shine a spotlight on human rights and helping safeguard the fundamentals of democracy.”
One of the major issues TIJ focuses on is press freedom, something close to the hearts of Fahmy and Ishaq.
Fahmy himself was arrested in Egypt in 2013 while working for Al Jazeera English on charges of “conspiring with a terrorist group and fabricating news,” before being released in 2015.
Citing a report by Reporters Without Borders that recorded 2018 as the deadliest year for journalists — with 80 murdered, 348 imprisoned and a further 60 taken hostage — he said: “Five journalists on our advisory board have been prosecuted, jailed, or abducted while doing their jobs.
“It is their determination to continue reporting from exile in the face of real threats that inspired me to join TIJ. I hope their work will inspire our readers the same way.”
One of TIJ’s contributors is Lindsey Snell, who was kidnapped and held hostage by Al-Qaeda militants while working in Syria in July 2016.
Tuesday’s event will open with an address by Tamara Pearl, the vice president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation and sister of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered by Al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002.
Two panels at the London launch event will also focus on press freedom. Award-winning Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui and the exiled former editor-in-chief of the Turkish Review, Kerim Balci, will talk about the Reporters Without Borders findings, while Fahmy will discuss how civil society can protect journalists with Sarah Clarke, head of Europe and Central Asia for Article 19, an international organization defending freedom of expression and information.


Arab News post-debate panelists: No clear winner between Biden and Trump

Updated 30 September 2020

Arab News post-debate panelists: No clear winner between Biden and Trump

  • Arab News correspondents Ray Hanania and Ephrem Kossaify, joined by veteran Arab American journalists Dalia Al-Aqidi and Warren David

 

CHICAGO: An Arab News panel of four distinguished Arab-American journalists and writers concluded Tuesday evening that there was “no clear winner” in the first of three debates between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Trump and Biden took the stage in a 90-minute sparring match held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and moderated by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.
Arab News panelists included Dalia Al-Aqidi, a former congressional candidate in Minnesota and award-winning international journalist and commentator covering foreign affairs; and Warren David, president of ArabAmerica.com, a networking website that disseminates events, news, music and culture.

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AS IT HAPPENED: Trump, Biden in heated and chaotic presidential debate

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The discussion was moderated by Arab News New York correspondent Ephrem Kossaify, who has covered American elections since 2004, interviewing former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.
It was emceed by Ray Hanania, a veteran Chicago City Hall political writer who is Arab News’s US special correspondent and columnist.
“I don’t think anybody won,” Al-Aqidi said. “I don’t think this debate made any impact on undecided voters … It wasn’t a debate. It was boring at one point. So I don’t think there was a winner.”
David said the president was “bullying” during the debate. “Trump didn’t follow the rules of the presidential debate, and I think Biden somehow won because Trump was out of control,” David added.
Kossaify said: “We’ve never seen a debate like this one. It was more of a brawl than a debate. There was hope that somehow we’d rise above the chaos tonight, but I don’t think we really did. It was very chaotic throughout.”
Hanania noted that Biden called Trump many names, including “liar”, “clown” and “racist,” while the president spent much time interrupting Biden as he responded to questions, to the point where Wallace reprimanded Trump for violating the rules that were agreed upon by his campaign not to interrupt.
“But Biden did something no one expected. He didn’t stumble … They brought up he was too old to be president, and did he have the mental capacity. He proved he does,” Hanania said.
“Trump on the other hand, I don’t think he was mean as many people thought he’d be, other than using the term ‘Pocahontas’ one time in the beginning. He didn’t call anyone fat. He didn’t insult women. He didn’t insult Biden.”
All agreed that no clear, single issue stood out from either candidate. “It was the same thing back and forth, back and forth, back and forth,” David said.
“I was really disappointed in Wallace. He really came after the president several times, and Biden but more after Trump.”
Panelists agreed that the president interrupted Biden frequently, earning reprimands from Wallace.
What was most memorable of the 90-minute debate? “Biden managed to stay on stage for 96 minutes. The bar is so low for Biden, it was an achievement for him to stay straight for 96 minutes,” Al-Aqidi said.
“I think the biggest failure was Wallace. We didn’t hear clear questions … and he didn’t let us hear the answers. There were very important issues that needed to be discussed, but he couldn’t get a clear answer from both.”
The debate was broken up into short two-minute statements from each candidate on a topic, followed by several minutes of open debate, but it appeared chaotic at times.
The first question was on the appointment of a Supreme Court justice to succeeded Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.
Other topics included the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, what Wallace described as “race and violence in American cities,” and the integrity of the elections.
“Every issue discussed tonight is very crucial to what’s happening tonight — the Supreme Court nomination to fill the gap of the late Judge Ginsburg and what that would entail; in terms of health care that affects every American; abortion rights; women rights. Everything is in the balance,” said Kossaify.
David said: “This is the most important election in this country … 2020 has had so many issues, starting with COVID-19 and civil rights issues, and starting with impeachment at the beginning of the year … health care, the divisiveness — all of that and the Supreme Court, Roe vs Wade, all these big issues … We can’t afford to have a debate like this because our lives are on the line.”