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Iraqi Media Group Seeks Passage Of Freedom Of Information Act

BAGHDAD -- The director of an Iraqi media watchdog says his organization is pushing to have a Freedom of Information Act passed in parliament, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Ziad al-Ajili, the director of the Iraqi Journalistic Freedom Observatory, told RFI on the sidelines of a workshop on investigative journalism in Baghdad last week that the workshop will focus on getting the Iraqi parliament to expedite a Freedom of Information Act.

He said the law would enable all journalists, particularly those doing investigative work, to access important information and provide them the legal protection they need.

Al-Ajili added that Iraq badly needs well-trained investigative journalists because of the rampant corruption in the country which is hobbling reconstruction efforts.

Some 35 Iraqi reporters from local and foreign media outlets are attending the U.S.-funded investigative journalism workshop.

Communications Professor Joyce Barrett of Charleston College told RFI that the four-day workshop would discuss issues such as journalistic ethics regarding investigative reporting, how to cultivate sources and think critically about subjects, and how to obtain information.