Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Right time for meeting Anas Aremeyaw Anas, investigative reporter

Invited by the Centre for Investigative Journalism (City University, London 24/11/08) Anas Arameyaw Anas, a Ghanaian reporter, developed his own views about ethics in reporting.

Taking "an African perspective", he mentioned different stories and justified the methods of undercovered journalism by the search of public interest. 
He said: "whatever you do, you are taking risks; go for the hard ones!" Yet, this does not mean he wants to die.  Anas evoked the different stories he covered for his newspaper, the Crusading Guide. One of the most interesting is entitled "Ghanaians eating maggots?". It is related to Eurofood company (13/06/06) whose flour was infested with maggots. "Products of Eurofood can be found in the markets of Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte-d'Ivoire" and other West African countries. His investigation raised an issue of public health and reflects as well how far some companies care for their Third-World clients. Business is business. 

He talked about timing as well - which seems to be a crucial question for investigative reporters. How to decide when is the right moment? This reminded me of a distinction made by Greek philosophers between kronos and kairos. The first expression refering to chronological time while the second is a moment of undetermined period of time. Period of time in which something happens.
Anas explained: "you have to be careful and patient, but being too careful and too patient, you might miss the story".

Apparently Anas Arameyaw Anas - who received last month the Kurt Schork award - knows quite well how to deal with contingent circumstances. He masters "time in between": such stuff our stories are made on.