Three promising journalists were selected to undertake a week-long study tour in Pakistan when the Center for Investigative Reporting Sri Lanka held its inaugural CIR Fellowship Awards 2019 on 10 March 2020 at Hotel Ozo, Colombo.
The three journalists, Rifthi Ali, Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi and Leo Darshan were among CIR’s first batch of fellows who developed in depth multi-media reports on a range of issues that are of public significance.
High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka, Sarah Hulton delivered the keynote address at the event.
In 2019, CIR introduced a fellowship program for young journalists to develop their skills in investigative journalism through a combination of training and rigorous mentoring. The group went through two intense investigative journalism trainings and were mentored throughout the story development process of eight months by CIR’s lead trainer Shihar Aneez.
A three-member independent panel of judges comprising Ms. Hana Ibrahim, Editor-Daily & Weekend Express, Mr. Ananda Jayasekera, former investigative journalist and Mr. A. P. Mathan, Editor –Tamil Mirror, selected three promising journalists to undertake the study tour.
In recommending journalists, the panel of judges concluded that while the articles did not meet the standards required to be recognized as fully-fledged investigative reports that merit awards, it was appropriate to recognize the potential displayed by the selected journalists.
The three journalists were scheduled to attend a short course in mobile journalism at the Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ), Karachi, Pakistan, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Established in November 2018, the Center for Investigative Reporting is Sri Lanka’s first center dedicated to the promotion of investigative reporting.