Investigative Journalism means the unveiling of matters that are concealed either deliberately by someone in a position of power, or accidentally, behind a chaotic mass of facts and circumstances - and the analysis and exposure of all relevant facts to the public. In this way investigative journalism crucially contributes to freedom of expression and media development, which are at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate.
UNESCO has constantly fostered debate on media accountability and professional and ethical standards, which provide journalists with guiding principles and training materials on how to best exercise their profession. In collaboration with Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), UNESCO launched the first manual for investigative journalists in Arab States, entitled Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Journalists in 2009. Following the successful launch of the Manual which has been adopted by many journalism programmes in the Arab States, Asia, the United States of America and the Russian Federation, UNESCO presented The Global Investigative Journalism Casebook, as complementary material for training purposes.
The role media can play as a watchdog is indispensable for democracy and it is for this reason that UNESCO fully supports initiatives to strengthen the capacity building of investigative journalism throughout the world. At a time of a widening communications ecosystem, journalism today needs to clearly show its key value-add to the public interest. In this light, credible investigative stories, like the kind promoted in this book, are increasingly pivotal to public confirmation of the continuing importance of professional journalistic work in the coming years.