Investigative journalism
Investigative journalism

Mr Job Rabkin, the Commissioning Editor of Investigations, Channel 4 News, a British television news programme, has called for collaboration in investigative journalism.

He said journalists must work together as colleagues because some of the best global investigations in the last few years had been achieved through collaborations.

Speaking at the 25th World Press Freedom Conference on Thursday in Accra, Mr Rabkin said: “And above all by EXPOSING what we have found. We don’t make the law and we don’t enforce it. But when unethical and immoral practices are taking place we can use our voice to bring those injustices to light.”

“It can be dangerous and costly too. Investigations aren’t cheap,” he added.

Speaking on the topic; “Investigative Journalism and how it can uncover Corruption and Political Malpractice,” Mr Rabkin stated that “Time and again it’s only when investigative journalists do their job that the world finds out what is really going on.”

He said for a number of years now Channel 4 News had been investigating elections; “How they are organised. How they are fought. How they are paid for. How they are regulated.”

“And we’ve realised how, across the democratic world, the game is changing, fast,” he said.

Mr Rabkin said in 2017 their investigative works led them to a company called Cambridge Analytica and its impact on some elections across the globe.

He said lawmakers in many countries were now looking at what new laws could be put in place to protect the integrity of the democratic process.

On the lessons learnt from all of this, he said: “Firstly that we have entered a new information era, in which those with a political agenda are using these new tools to bombard people with fake news, propaganda and lies designed to achieve their political aims.”

Mr Rabkin said the technology was changing so fast and spreading so wide that the law, in most countries, was far behind, adding; “And the regulators who are supposed to police the democratic process are also way behind the curve”.

He said that means that “we the press are often the last line of defence.”

“There is no one else. How do we meet that challenge? By combating fake news with fact based, legitimate and impartial journalism. By using the time honoured tools we have as journalists asking questions, cultivating sources, requesting and obtaining information.”

The 2018 World Press Freedom Day, on the theme; “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law,” is being organised by the UNESCO in collaboration with the Government of Ghana.

The event brought together more than 700 leading actors from the media and civil society organisation, policy makers, representatives of the judiciary, and academia to discuss latest developments and pressing challenges related to press freedom and the safety of journalists.

The World Press Freedom Day celebration found its origin in the Windhoek Declaration, calling for media pluralism and independence, adopted in 1991 in Namibia.

Since 1993, the Day had been the UN International Day on Freedom of Expression and Press Freedom.

This year’s celebration focuses on the role of the media in speaking the truth to power and ensure accountability of institutions and policymakers.

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