Why “Defending Independent Media”?

In the past few years, journalists have been facing more and more difficulties. Restrictions on freedom of expression have been on the rise, and many journalists had to pay a high price for their efforts to expose corruption and wrongdoings. Journalists have been a target of physical, psychological and digital threats. Not only in the Arab world, but worldwide.

This year’s ARIJ annual forum will be held under the theme “Defending Independent Media”, in which we focus on achieving more accountability, and promoting people’s right to access verified information wherever they are.

ARIJ 15th Forum will focus on discussing ways and means  for minimising the challenges and difficulties faced by journalists, especially freelance journalists, so that they can produce more investigative reporting, verify information, and support whistleblowers. We are keen on promoting the three pillars of our 2022-2025 strategy: empowerment, networking, and innovation.

ARIJ forum this year will follow a hybrid model. In the past couple of years, virtual attendance proved to be a big success in bridging the gab between thousands of participants worldwide, to attend this important event, and exchange ideas and expertise.

Last year, ARIJ Forum, which was held virtually with a very small on-ground component, was attended by more than five thousand journalists, experts, editors, trainers, and journalism students, from more than 60 countries.

This year, the 15th annual ARIJ forum will be held between 2-4 December. It will also include a pre-forum program running between 20 October and 20 November, consisting of workshops, meetings, clinics, panels and more.

The ARIJ Forum is a chance to explore new directions, tackle the current challenges, share knowledge and network with leaders of Arab and global investigative journalism movements. It is an annual event to boost reporting skills, learn new tools, and get acquainted with the latest trends in investigative reporting. There are also opportunities to network with fact-checkers, TV broadcasters, technology companies, and universities from around the globe. 


Journalists will learn how to counter the legal, political, professional, economic, and societal challenges hindering the role of the “Fourth Estate” in ensuring accountability. ARIJ’s Forum is a golden opportunity to train and equip journalists to serve as society’s watch-dogs in favour of democracy, transparency and the rule of law in one of the world’s most autocratic regions. It also gives Arab media lecturers and media students a chance to interact with professionals.

Take a look at #ARIJ21