Most Popular Resources on GIJN in 2018

GIJN is constantly on the lookout for the best tipsheets, reporting gudies, how-to stories, and videos, then collating and integrating it into ever-growing Resource Center. Following is a curated list of the top 10 most popular resources accessed by journalists on our site in 2018.

Investigating Supply Chains


Supply chains are networks between companies and their suppliers that produce and distribute a specific product. They may include providers of raw material, firms that convert the material into products, storage facilities and distribution centers, and retailers who bring the ultimate product to consumers. The products are as varied as the marketplace: clothing, electronics, vehicles, food, medicine. Probing the origins of commodities and products is a rich field for reporters. Investigations have revealed forced labor, environmental crimes, corruption and human rights abuses.

Tips for Working in Bahrain

Full guide here. العربية | বাংলা

Media Environment
The Bahraini constitution guarantees  freedom of expression and the press, excluding opinions that undermine the fundamental beliefs of Islam or the “unity of the people” and those that promote “discord or sectarianism.” However, the Law of Press, Printing and Publishing of 2002 is used to restrict free speech.; Law 47/2002 includes 17 categories of offenses, three of which allow for prison sentences. The freedom of expression climate in Bahrain has changed significantly since 2011, when protests influenced by the “Arab Spring” started taking place. The Bahraini authorities responded by prosecuting journalists and critics that covered political events or reflected the voices of protesters and voices of dissent.

Key Terms

Full guide here. العربية

Forced labor, human trafficking and undocumented migration are prevalent across the globe. In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, specific and shared characteristics of labor and migration laws and practices facilitate forced labor and human trafficking. Definitions
Forced Labor. All work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty or coercion, and for which the said person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily. The threat of penalty may include arrest or jail, refusal to pay wages, forbidding a worker from traveling freely, confiscating worker’s identity documents and withholding part of a worker’s salary as part of the repayment of a loan.

Tips for Working in Kuwait

Full guide here. العربية | বাংলা

Media Environment
Freedom of speech in Kuwait is protected according to Articles 36 and 37 in the country’s constitution. However, that freedom is limited according to what is “specified by the law.”

Criticizing the Emir of Kuwait is illegal and could lead to more than five years in prison, physical abuse, extreme interrogation or badeportation. It is also illegal to publish work that insults Islam, the prophets or God. Publishing work that discusses them negatively could lead to more than a $50,000 fine and a year (or more) in prison.

Tips for Working in the United Arab Emirates

Full guide here. العربية

These tips were provided by Yasin Kanade, a former Ugandan journalist deported for covering migrant worker issues in the United Arab Emirates. Media Environment

A journalist seeking to write about human trafficking in the UAE has to understand that any writing seen as contrary to the government narrative is a punishable offense. The local press law prohibits criticism of the government and ruling family, and reserves the right to censor any publication. The 2012 cybercrime law further penalizes online activities which includes information sharing, digital journalism and social media.

Tips for Working in Saudi Arabia

Full guide here. العربية

These tips were provided by a researcher on domestic workers in Saudi Arabia. Media Environment
The media environment in Saudi Arabia is repressive and freedom of speech and expression is limited. The country has repeatedly been under heavy criticism from Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, among others. In Saudi Basic Law, there is no mention of freedom of the press, speech or expression. While the media and publications law guarantees freedom of expression, it works within the limits of Sharia law. The country does not have a freedom of information law, although a draft law has been debated in the Shura Council. 

Bloggers are required to register with the Ministry of Information, and criticizing the ruling family is forbidden, as is criticizing Islam.

Tips for Working in Oman

Full guide here. العربية | বাংলা

Media Environment
Oman’s constitution guarantees freedom of expression, but with strong limitations. The 1984 Press and Publications law further outlines the restrictions on journalism and journalists in the country and explicitly prohibits defamation of the ruling family. It is common practice for journalists to self-censor to avoid threats, fines and arrest. Journalists and media outlets are required to obtain permits, which can be revoked for violating press laws. Foreign journalists must also obtain a license from the Publications and Publishing Department. Meanwhile, the Telecommunications Act of 2002 adds additional restrictions to online media.

Tips for Working in Qatar

Full guide here. العربية | বাংলা
These tips were provided by Vani Saraswathi, a former Qatar-based journalist and associate editor for 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.