Project description

INKYFADA is a flagship media project founded in 2014 by a team of journalists, developers, and graphic designers. Its mission is to devolve information and reshape journalism. The organization aims to be a professional hub for new journalism and a place for debate and critical reflection on the journalism future. Also, INKYFADA works on providing journalists (professional/citizen) with training and tools in orders to enable them to quickly find what is relevant in a great flood of information, critically evaluate the veracity of the discovered information, and relay it in a compelling manner.

The work of INKYFADA\’s members is built on four interlinked pillars:

information ;

audiovisual production ;

training activities (offered to media professionals, journalism schools and organizations from Tunisia and abroad) ;

and the web engineering laboratory Inkylab, which produces the tools and applications needed for cross-media projects and activities.

WWW.INKYFADA.COM is an independent hard-hitting investigative webzine that covers a broad array of subjects related to a variety of subject in Tunisia (and some part of the world), in french and arabic language. The platform offers independent and quality content produced by journalists, graphic designers, web developers, experts and members of the public.

INKYFADA pursues an alternative funding model to traditional ads-based models. The ultimate objective is to achieve sustainable economic self-sufficiency that supports the human capital and advanced technological tools necessary for a high quality, independent production. INKYFADA is exclusively supported by its parent organization, Al Khatt. Al Khatt is a non-profit organization that independently generates more than half of its revenues through activities such as trainings, education programs for media groups, website and software development, etc. It only seeks funding from sources that guarantee editorial independence from political and financial interests.

What makes this project innovative?

Since its creation in 2014 INKYFADA has distinguished itself by producing high quality journalism, using state-of-the-art technology and tools. It features cutting-edge journalism and is a reference in investigative and data journalism, in Tunisia and beyond. INKYFADA produces various and innovative types of content: audio and video documentaries, photojournalism, interactive infographics, immersive visual experiences, and, a format that fuses many of these elements together — web documentaries (webdocs). Its expertise — writing, production, development, graphic design, drawing, and photography, and more — is combined to serve an ultimate goal, that of sharing true and impactful information. Unlike in traditional reporting, INKYFADA's graphic designers, developers, producers, and directors are actively involved in the full production process of journalistic content. Collaborating across the main departments — writing, development, and production — its journalists utilize the latest technologies to build original and engaging content. INKYFADA has also brought together a team of programmers (InkyLab), to provide tailored-made tools with a heavy focus on analysis, data visualization and storytelling (cf. Technologies used).

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

In 5 years of existence, INKYFADA succeeded to become a reputed actor in the Tunisian media landscape and a leading experience in the Arab region, especially in investigation and data-journalism. It is known for its deep and long-term investigation and very meticulous job and mastered the art of collecting reliable and usable data and statistics. Currently INKYFADA is organizing its database in order to give others (organisation, citizens, decision maker…) access to a wealth of data related to its investigations. The initiative has a vital benefit for journalists, citizen, decision makers organisation, etc. Making information resources easy to find, accessible, and usable can fuel innovation, policies, projects and also citizenship responsibilities, awareness and ownership. So INKYFADA's members are sharing informations with NGO's and Tunisia's civil society. They also are invited in TV and radio to present the published investigations or to share inkyfada’s opinion on journalistic matter. Some articles have been taken up and published on other platforms and number of medias and organizations wrote about INKYFDA and its achievements. Those various collaborations improve the impact of its investigations. INKYFADA is now a member of prestigious consortia of investigative journalists such as ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism), OCCRP (Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project), GIJN (Global Investigative Journalism Network) and more recently ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalism) and won prizes on national and international level. INKYFADA was rewarded by Pulitzer Prize 2017 as a member and part of ICIJ for the Panama Papers, a series of stories using a collaboration of more than 300 reporters on six continents to expose the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens. As a result, a judicial investigation on tax fraud and money-laundering was initiated by the legal and fiscal court division in Tunis. In 2018 the GIJN has classified one of inkyfada’s investigation, “Army Sniper” as one of the 9 best Arab region watchdog journalistic production. At a National level, INKYFADA received, in 2017 ,The INLUCC’s (Anti- corruption National Authority set up by the 12th article of the decree-law 2011-120 of November 2011) distinguished prize for Best Investigation on Governance and fight against corruption for its Panama paper. Additionally The SNJT (National Syndicat for Tunisian Journalists) bestowed an award at the first honorific ceremony for Tunisian journalists awarded internationally.

Source and methodology

To carry out investigations including data, Inkyfada takes the time to check the information in detail. After compiling all the data, the entire team works to make this data accessible and interactive for readers. Here we describe the methodologies applied for two articles: the first is on education, the second on medical devices (Implant Files). For the first one, the data was collected from several sources. The majority of the data came from public bodies — the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, in particular. We also pulled information from other public sources, such as the National Institute of Statistics (INS). Some data also came from the Afkar Institute, a Tunisian NGO that analyzes Tunisian public policy by comparing data within and across Tunisian governorates and by comparing Tunisia to other countries. After the data was compiled, it was then organized into a database. During this stage, we verified the data; if there were inconsistencies, duplications, or otherwise, the sources of these data were contacted for clarification. Even after the entire database was verified, these organizations were contacted for various other clarifications. For the second article “Implant Files”, as part of the partnership with the ICIJ, Inkyfada gained access to the entire FDA recall database. Our journalists then identified which devices had the potential to be exported to Tunisia: more than 900 devices, classified into several categories. Next, our team looked into which devices from this list were actually distributed in Tunisia. We contacted representatives of foreign suppliers and verified which devices were marketed in the Tunisian market by checking each serial number and batch number, as well as product distribution dates. Once this sorting was done, we translated the products descriptions and reasons for recall into French to facilitate comprehension for our readers. There also exist several Tunisian institutions that are tasked with handling recalls of defective devices: The Central Pharmacy, the Directorate of Pharmacy and Medicine (DPM) and the ANCSEP (National Agency for the Control of Health and Environmental Products). The data provided by these institutions’ websites are poorly organized and lack critical information. To integrate their data into our investigation and obtain more information, our team submitted formal requests for access to information. As a result, we were able to add some locally-produced devices to our database; we also wrote an article about these organizations’ lack of transparency.

Technologies Used

InkyLab, INKYFADA's research department, has developed in collaboration with the editorial staff two main tools, tailored-made for INKYFADA's journalists and focused on analysis, data visualization and storytelling : inkychart and inku.be Inkychart is a chart and graph maker for composing, editing, and sharing interactive data visualization. It aims to establish both objectivity and truth by complementing and arguing Inkyfada’s publications with reliable data and facts in order to make topics that were previously inaccessible, or only crudely accessible, subject to readers and decision makers’ scrutiny. Inku.be is INKYFADA's Content Management System. It speeds up the time between writing and publishing online ans allows INKYFADA's journalists to build more creative story layouts more easily. inku.be was built as a community tool, so that a wide range of online editors can easily publish innovative content and create engaging reading experiences.

Project members

Monia Ben Hamadi Marwen Ben Mustapha Aymen Jerbi Malek Khadhraoui Hortense Lac Haifa Mzalouat Chayma Mehdi Walid Mejri Erige Sehiri Aymen Touihri Hanene Zbiss Kais Zriba

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