Damascus, SANA- A workshop on the role of investigative journalism in developing the performance of establishments and combating corruption kicked off on Sunday, organized by the Information Ministry and the Journalists Union.
Journalists from all local mass media establishments are participating in the workshop, along with professors from the Information Faculty in Damascus University.
In a speech at the workshop, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi stressed that the role of mass media during crises as part of the national establishment is much bigger than its role in ordinary times because it rallies people and unmasks the reality of what is happening.
The Minister said that investigative journalism is not new to the national media, though it was not given enough attention, pointing out that the anti-Syria media wants to stop life in Syria, so it shows disdain towards the Syrian media for covering all sorts of facets of life.
Al-Zoubi said that investigative journalism requires great efforts as it provides new services for developing the work of establishments because it follows up on vital topics and allows journalists to work in diverse ways.
He touched upon corruption and its manifestations, clarifying that corruption didn’t emerge during the crisis, but rather the crisis created new forms of corruption altogether, noting that corruption evolves as law evolves because corrupt people keep searching for loopholes to circumvent laws.
The Minister said that investigative journalism must begin by tackling media establishments and investigating them and their issues, pointing out that the Ministry has a team which specializes in investigative journalism related to terrorism, and that this team has established databases on terrorists in Syria who include Saudis, Kuwaitis, Europeans, and others, adding that this information will be broadcast by Syrian televisions.
In turn, head of the Journalists Union Elias Murad said that journalism ethics are the guarantee for true freedom of media and thus are necessary for investigative journalism, asserting that concealing the truth will push people away and ethics require that journalists improve their objective and balance work standards.
Rasha Milhem / Hazem Sabbagh