By a TMO Reporter
Mongolian journalists together with their international counterparts, for the first time, converged on Ulaanbaatar on 1-2 September, 2017 to discuss opportunities and challenges of investigative journalism in the country.
The two-day dialogue was organized by the Press Institute of Mongolia with support from DW Akademie, Global Investigative Journalists’ Network and Mongol TV.
In 2015 trainers from the Press Institute took part in the 9th Global Investigative Journalism conference in Norway. Upon return from the conference, the Press Institute organized three roundtable discussions among journalist and professionals to share experience and the outcome was the establishment of a network of journalism educators and journalists interested in investigative reporting. The core objective of the network was to promote knowledge and experience sharing, and develop collaboration among journalists to promote investigative journalism in the country.
The first international investigative journalism dialogue was preceded by the First Mongolian Investigative Journalism conference in 2016 as a follow up to the 2nd Asian Investigative Journalism Conference in Nepal. Almost 70 journalists and educators took part in the conference brainstorming on the opportunities and challenges in promoting investigative journalism in the country.
Prior to the international investigative journalism dialogue a three-week high-level training of journalists on investigative reporting was conducted, where instructors from the Press Institute were also trained. These instructors would be offering their first course on investigative journalism in the summer of 2018.
The international investigative journalism dialogue was attended by Mark Lee Hunter, adjunct professor and senior research fellow from the INSEAD Social Innovation Center, Marcus Lindemann, journalism and research trainer from Germany, Young Jin Kim of Newstapa, South Korea’s investigative journalism center, Hideki Kimura of Waseda Chronicle, Japan, Michael Canares of Open Data Lab, Indonesia and Horea Salajn, a journalism expert from Romania.
The highlight of the conference was the launching of Mongolian Center of Investigative Journalism and its website (http://www.mcij.mn/mn/).
An award presentation ceremony was held at the conclusion of the conference to winners of an investigative reporting contest among Mongolian journalists. A TV report called Silent Screaming by U. Bolortuya, a reporter with the Eagle TV won the Grand Prix which investigated the complaints of physical and sexual abuse by students of Special School Number 29 in Ulaanbaatar for the deaf and dumb. (Read the modified version of this story in this edition of The Mongolian Observer on page 25).