Regional conference held by ARIJ in Amman
Hafez Asakreh, a journalist at Palestine News Network (PNN) received Monday evening a prize from the Arab Reporters For Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), at its annual conference that was held in the Jordanian capital of Amman.
Asakreh conducted an investigative report entitled “The Cans of Death," about the health impacts of illegal pesticides in Palestine, which was among dozens of investigative reports that were nominated for the prize.
Hundreds of journalists from various Arabic countries have competed for this prize and at the end three journalists, Asakreh among them, were announced as the winners, in appreciation for their efforts.
Asakreh conducted a televised investigative report of 24 minutes, in cooperation with the PNN production staff, about the banned agricultural pesticides that were smuggled into the Palestinian market and the effects they had on peoples' health.
The work took a full 6-month period, and Askareh used a scientific method, beginning with a hypothesis and eventually proving it to be true through visual documentation, leaving no room for doubt.
Hafez Asakreh said Palestinian journalists must shed light on issues concerning the Palestinian community, adding that journalism is known as the “fourth authority” in Arabic because it has a responsibility to serve society. The press relies on evidence and proof, and works to document issues in a way to serve the public interest with high professionalism.
Asakreh dedicated his achievement to the Palestinian people, first and foremost President Mahmoud Abbas, also mentioning Palestine News Network (PNN) and its staff for providing technical support, especially cameraman Ali Adani, and the ARIJ Foundation for raising the standards of investigative journalism and for their efforts in making this work succeed.
Monjed Jadou, General-Director of PNN, said that the network is always working to broadcast the right information and to shed light on issues that are of concern to Palestinians, in order to serve the public interest.
Jadou added that the investigative reports have become an integral part of society, adding that it is essential to raise awareness about investigative journalism in Arab countries, and this is what ARIJ always aims to do through their support and development of the idea in cooperation with journalists, individuals and institutions.
Jadou congratulated Asakrah for this award, noting that Asakreh was one of the most committed and active journalists in the competition, and that he worked with a notable degree of professionalism.
Finally, Jadou thanked ARIJ and expressed his hope for more cooperation and communication in the field of investigative reporting to serve the Arab communities through media, which is a tool of protection for societies and an avenue of expressing the different problems they face.