This is a research paper that was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.
Ali Almania, a lecturer at Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University and journalist at Riyadh Newspaper, researched the state of Saudi Arabian investigative journalism in the context of how journalism changed after the Arab Spring. Legal, political and professional restrictions on journalism make it hard to do investigative projects. The rise of social media, however, seems to have given journalists more freedom.
“The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges confronting investigative journalists in Saudi Arabia. As a result of the prevailing political system, the gatekeepers of the Saudi news media have imposed legal restrictions on investigative journalism. This study considers whether the political changes that are taking place in some Arab countries after the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ in 2010 have led to more or less investigative reporting. Semi-structured interviews were held with three Saudi newspapers’ editors in chief, who were asked about their criteria for accepting or rejecting investigative stories.”