A look at those exposing corruption

Nizar Manek, who volunteered in our Conventions Programme at Transparency International this summer, wrote this piece for the Guardian Comment is Free blog entitled Internationalising the public interest highlighting the need for international media to not forget the campaigners who pay a high price for exposing corruption in the developing world.

Nizar points out:

International media scrutiny cannot be shut down, but these problems are often left unreported. International media outlets should make a clear shift to internationalising the public interest – particularly in supporting the international protection of human rights in countries where investigating and publishing on corruption faces censorship, imprisonment and state-sponsored killing. Reporters need to monitor these cases and engage in cross-border investigations where unacceptable restrictions are imposed on the local media.

He highlights cases from Algeria, Brazil and Morocco, but there are many more who bravely stand up to corrupt practices. Often, these cases fail to be covered.

This is not an issue that will go away. With more people speaking out against corruption, it becomes clearer that these individuals need to be protected and supported when doing so:

Often there is no adequate protection for anti-corruption activists in line with international standards – and once imprisoned, they are easily forgotten.

There’s a lot to gain for a stronger connection between journalists and people who speak out against corruption in their countries. But the work of journalists is often equally as dangerous. Data by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows that in 2010 in 31 per cent of journalists killed were investigating corruption. A horrifying number.

This is why Transparency International’s last Integrity Awards honoured the work of David Leigh and Roman Shleynov, two journalists uncovering corruption cases in the UK and Russia.

The next winners of the Integrity Awards will be presented at the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference on 12 November. Look out!

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