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Suspicious minds, Part II

Suspicious minds, Part II

Contrary to what you might think, investigative journalism is alive and snooping in the Middle East, says Communicate magazine, Part II.

October 6, 2009 9:53 by

Fisk also recalls speaking to an Al Jazeera senior editor who was with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair while he visited the Al Jazeera offices. Blair was asked if George W. Bush truly did want to bomb the network’s building in Doha, and he dodged the question. But Fisk is in no doubt.

“Of course Bush wanted to bomb Al Jazeera, because he didn’t want it to investigate,” he says. “You have two problems in the Middle East: regional governments, and then you have us [the West]. Neither wants you to investigate.”

Fouda says there is another challenging element of investigative journalism common across the world: accessing information and getting people to speak to you. “Investigative journalism is always difficult, because you’re usually after the kind of information that sources are reluctant to give to you,” he says. “I’ve found that almost every single investigation I’ve embarked on has been very difficult, particularly when dealing with the US. If it’s not difficult, then you’re probably not doing the right story. I haven’t heard of a true scoop without repercussions; one party or the other will be affected negatively or positively by your story. What matters is that you know your truth, you know the law, you calculate the risks, and off you go. That doesn’t mean that you’re 100 percent sure that everything will be okay, but that’s the nature of the beast. Investigative journalists do enjoy the pleasure of surprise.”

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