Ghanaian investigative reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas has been awarded the 2010 Excellence in Journalism award by the Global Health Council, in recognition of his undercover work in a psychiatric hospital.
Disguised as a mentally-ill patient at the Accra Psychiatric hospital, Anas exposed the neglect and abuse of other patients by nurses.
Global Health Council President and CEO Jeffrey L Sturchio said Anas repeatedly risked his own life to help others.
“In selecting Mr Anas for this award, we were awed by his courage and persistence ― often at great personal risk ― in exposing the most vile and degrading treatment of human beings.” he said. “We celebrate everything Mr Anas has done to rescue and care for the most vulnerable among us.”
Undercover journalism has no role in reporting on meetings – in private or public places – between people in power and celebrities or individuals known to have vast wealth or power, investigative journalist Tessa Mayes told journalism students at Coventry University at last week.
Probably best known for ‘Sleepers: undercover in the sex trade‘ broadcast on Channel 4 in 2001 (when she worked as a receptionist to investigate the conditions endured by many illegal sex workers in the UK), Mayes told students at the ‘Coventry Conversations’ session that ‘investigative journalism has in recent times been branded “dead” by many in the world’s media, but that was far from the truth’.
“These are people caught up in a private moment, caught during free speech. You have to approach investigative journalism in context because it is an intrusive form of gathering information.
“I think you have to look long and hard if you want to do this at the way we present the evidence. We have to get answers for the right reasons, even though objectivity has been heavily criticised in recent years,” she added.