Some 250 journalists participated in the three-day conference, organized by Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, to foster freedom of information and in-depth reporting in the Arab world, ARIJ said in a statement.
Journalists from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine received “Arab Spring Awards” for best investigative reporting of 2011.
Ma’an’s Zuheir Tmeizeh won second prize in the category of televised investigative reports for his documentary “Angels in the Dock,” produced by Iyad al-Atiyyat for Ma’an Network.
The documentary illustrates the impact of negligence and a lack of accountability in the Palestinian medical sector, focusing on hospital care in the occupied West Bank.
Raeda Hamra of Roya TV took first for a documentary uncovering financial violations in Jordanian factories.
A fifth ARIJ conference is scheduled to be held in Tunisia next year.
In a related development, Tunisian and Palestinian free media advocates have launched a cooperative called the Arab Network for Freedom of Expression, organizers said Tuesday.
The creation of ANFEX reflects a need for “unified action” to promote freedom of expression in the Arab world, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms said in a statement.
In cooperation with the Tunisian Center for Freedom of Expression, ANFEX’s establishment comes after a series of consultations and meetings were held in Tunisia last week, the statement said.
Mousa Rimawi, head of MADA, says the network will focus on media freedom in the Arab world, which is not protected. It will work toward reforming laws protecting free expression, he said.
The establishment of ANFEX comes as the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, made an inaugural visit to the occupied territories this week.
La Rue was meeting Palestinian officials and media from Dec. 6-11 and will visit Israel the following week to examine “the situation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of the media.”