The jury for the DIG Awards – an annual celebration of the best investigative documentaries made around the world – has revealed the films and programs that have made it onto the annual shortlist. The final awards will be given as part of DIG’s festival, which is taking place in the historic city of Modena in northern Italy this week.
The democratization of satellite technology and the entry of private companies into the field of space means it’s now possible to have access to high spatio-temporal data at a very minimal cost, leading to interesting investigative stories. In the coming years as the democratization of satellite technology gathers pace, more and more cases that had been undocumented or unreported will see the light of the day.
This week’s Friday 5, where we round up our favorite reads from around the online world in English, includes a report from The Guardian and GIJN member Forbidden Stories about a Moroccan journalist targeted by Pegasus spyware, five books on cybersecurity that you should be reading, and, in the midst of the global Black Lives Matter movement, AP Stylebook’s decision to capitalize Black.
Full guide here. العربية | বাংলা
These tips were provided by Vani Saraswathi, a former Qatar-based journalist and associate editor for Migrant-Rights.org. Media Environment
While Qatar is home to the Al Jazeera network and the host of the Doha Centre for Media Freedom, there is little or no tolerance for critical reporting in the country. The Doha Centre does commendable work outside of the country, but its operations within are farcical. Overall, there is very little criticism of the government or the ruling family in the local media, with only occasional critical pieces around municipal council elections. Doha News was the only independent media in the country until it was blocked — the excuse given for the block was a lack of proper licensing — forcing its original owners/editors to sell. In fact, Qatar hasn’t issued a new media license in years, apart from one for Al Rayyan TV in May 2012. While online platforms do exist, the controversial Cyber Crime law makes independent operation difficult.
The three English and four Arabic newspapers all practice self-censorship, and any reporting on migrant labor issues is done without critical analysis or background.
The Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” as the Word of the Year 2016. It is an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” This attitude of readers choosing their own beliefs over facts has been a huge problem that beset journalism in the past year, with media outlets trying to regain readers’ trusts and debunking false news from dubious digital sites. Here is a list of initiatives to combat fake news that have popped up in response to this challenge.
As the Syrian civil war has played out on the battlefields with gunshots and mortars, a parallel conflict has been fought online. In this interview, Al Jazeera’s Juliana Ruhfus details the methodology and challenges of her investigation into an “invisible” cyberwar and the process of transforming the investigation into an online game.