Awards to North African journalists for stories on COVID

During a closing ceremony in Tunis 20 December the jury gave a first award to Hiba Hmidi, a Tunisian journalist, for her work on Covid-19 virus medical waste. 

She has been part of the project on “Supporting the right to information and investigative journalism while fighting Covid-19 in the Maghreb region” since April – a cooperation between Article 19 MENA (Middle East and North Africa), Institute of Press and Information Sciences (IPSI) and JMIC running for several years.  

Hiba Hmidi won the first prize (Photo: Article 19 MENA).

The second award was received by Majda Ayet Lakteoui, a Moroccan journalist. She worked on the shortage in the number of doctors and nurses, exacerbated by the pandemic, as relatives of those infected with Covid-19 are working to care for the injured instead of the medical staff. This has contributed to the deterioration of the situation of patients and the transmission of the virus, her work shows.  

Second prize winner Majda Ayet Lakteoui (Photo: Article 19 MENA).

During the awards ceremony the trainee journalists – who were present online and offline –  presented their work and their journey within the program during the production phase and highlighted the challenges and lessons learned from their perspectives.  

The event was in a hybrid format, its first part was a round table discussion focused on the future of investigative journalism in the Maghreb region. This roundtable brought together experienced investigative journalists from Libya, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia and experts in access to information.  

From right: Hanen Zbiss, Walid Mejri and Khaoula Boukrim, both Tunisian investigative journalists, Rafik Ben Abdallah, a representative from the Access to information oversight body in Tunisia and Anass Bendhrif – Hanene and Anass have trained and  coached the participants (Photo: Article 19 MENA).

They discussed the challenges that investigative journalism has been facing in the Maghreb region, the reasons for these challenges, how they can be overcome, how to put the access to information laws at the service of the development of investigative journalism and how the investigative journalism can contribute to enhance the implementation of the access to information law. 

The participants after the discussion and awards ceremony (Photo: Article 19 MENA).

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