How do you report on issues that happen outside the public limelight? Or avoid the impact of your own presence? Operating undercover enables journalists to immerse themselves into the criminal underworld, human trafficking, skinhead circles, dirty hospitals or poorly secured airfields. Western journalists only occasionally use disguises or hidden cameras. But for some of Africa's best investigative journalists it is their trademark and, often, the only way to get stories to the surface that would otherwise remain hidden.
OneWorld, ZAM Magazine and the association of investigative journalists VVOJ present an evening with renowned African journalists Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Selay Kouassi.
Ghanaian Anas was hailed by Barack Obama as "a courageous journalist who risks his life to tell the truth." He is a master of disguise who not only reveals abuses, but also brings those responsible to justice. He regularly works for Al Jazeera and partnered with Sanne Terlingen on her award-winning report on child sex tourism in Ghana.
Kouassi (Ivory Coast) gained fame with his explosive report on FairTrade, done in cooperation with ZAM and Dutch colleagues. The ‘FairTrade Chocolate Rip-off’ was nominated for the prestigious Dutch ‘De Tegel’ prize. Kouassi’s reports have been published by The Guardian and several Dutch newspapers.
On the Dutch side, award-winning ‘Zembla’ reporter Ton van der Ham will talk about his own undercover experiences.
Discussion will then ensue on the question: how far do you go? Anas injecting himself with heroin in preparation for an undercover report in a psychiatric institution. He almost didn’t make it out. In general, he has had to pay a high price for his work: he can never show his face, not even at the event in De Zwijger.
The presentation is in the hands of Nico Haasbroek (VVOJ) and Sanne Terlingen (OneWorld).