Raising the Alarm: Investigative Report Sparks Iraqi Media Attention and Urges Accountability for Action

A new generation of journalists leading environmental journalism in Iraq at the forefront.

Abdulmajeed Ghanim, a 29-year-old male journalist and reporter with more than 6 years of experience in the field of journalism, expressed his concern regarding the ongoing environmental and climate challenges facing his city Mosul, elaborating “In the past years, Mosul city has been witnessing significant environmental and climate challenges such as plummeted levels of Tigris River, shrinkage of farmlands, and rampant urban expansion. However, journalists are not at full capacity to report these challenges accurately. Therefore, it is necessary to equip journalists to better report these pressing issues to pressure the involved stakeholders for action.”

Figure 1: Dijlah TV Referencing to Abdulmajeed’s Investigative Report in their Program.

On June 5, 2023, Abdulmajeed joined a virtual environmental journalism capacity-building training organized by Internews under the Environmental Journalism in Iraq project and expressed its impact, “The training deeply motivated me and inspired me to continue in producing environmental reports particularly investigative reports, recognizing their vital importance in the current context. This commitment is underscored by the profound impact of water scarcity and climate change on Iraq, particularly since the country has been ranked the fifth most affected country to climate change.”

Abdulmajeed devoted high efforts to highlighting major environmental issue facing different areas in Mosul city and was able to receive a grant through Internews for an investigative report  focusing on the negative impacts of drought to livestock and migration of village farmers threatening the loss of local meat within years, highlighting “The capacity building training equipped me to select impactful angles for environmental investigations and reports, emphasizing their significance in capturing attention and exerting pressure on authorities to address the urgent threats to life. It also provided tools for objective, globally relevant journalism, ensuring comprehensive coverage and referencing reliable sources for environmental information and global statistics.”

Remarkably, Abdulmajeed’s investigative report received a high number engagements and was shared on several Iraqi media outlets such as Hatha Alyaom News Platform , Alrafidain News Encyclopedia, and Baghdad Today News Agency.

Furthermore, the Director of News at Dijlah TV , Basheer Alkubaisi, was very impressed by the report and mentioned “The investigative report revealed frightening details and presented factual information that would be easy for the authorities to reach if they want to take action.” Afterwords, Dijlah TV used Abdulmajeed’s investigative report as a main reference in their program and short reports.

Moreover, the Head of Creativity Department at TRT Arabic News Agency, Ali Ghanim, shared his insights on the report, highlighting “The investigation carefully considered various elements, each element can be a separate investigation. This report will help me utilize the data within it to create graphical contents on our social media platforms.”

Additionally, The head of NIRIJ Saman Noah expressed his opinion on the report, mentioning “This investigative report  stands out as one of the top environmental inquiries we’ve came across recently. In addition to achieving good readings due its relevance and expected to continue until year-end.”

Also, the Head of Al-Mosul Hawana Radio, Ahmed Mohammed came across the report an expressed his concern from the findings, mentioning “The information disclosed in the investigation is alarming, presenting some of the most concerning facts I’ve encountered about our city, where both my children and I reside. It’s frightening to witness the absence of urgency in addressing this critical issue.”

Abdulmajeed’s future plan is to continue focusing on covering topics related to climate and the environment and aspires to create a platform focusing on environmental issues in Iraq, spotlighting the areas hardest hit by drought and impacted by climate change, and shedding light on ongoing migrations and the decline of certain environmental professions. Moreover, amplifying the voices of farmers, sharing their personal narratives with decision-makers to prompt action against the forthcoming threats that could disturb their life.