Ace undercover Investigative Journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has hit back at critics who question his style of journalism. Anas, known for his undercover journalism has investigated and produced mind-boggling stories on anti-corruption, health, environment and human rights which have won him several awards internationally.His work as a journalist does not stop right after releasing investigated stories, but goes a step further by testifying for any of his victims in court, a development some journalists describe as unethical.
But speaking at the ongoing African Investigative Journalism Conference at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa, Anas said he was not ashamed and bothered by what he does best.
He was speaking on the topic: the art of undercover journalism.
The 3-day annual was organized by the Wits University and Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) with support from other collaborators.
Thrilled by his latest project, Wild Ghana in which a quack medical doctor had unprotected sex with pregnant women who visit his facility in Accra for abortion, the audience questioned why for instance, he led police to arrest the suspect.
But he argued his style of journalism is to affect society positively, and that, he will do anything to bring change to society in which he lives because he owed it a duty.
Anas revealed he is unperturbed by name-calling and criticisms and said he was glad to have taken the first step to address societal challenges.
“Some people think what I do is not journalism, standing in law courts to testify against people I investigate. I want to see real change in society”.
Wearing a human-faced like mask to cover his identity, Anas revealed how difficult and dangerous it has always been for him and team members especially on security, in search of “hard core evidence”.
“Undercover journalism gives you hard core evidence” he said, but “all the rules are observed, back up team, security protocol all put in place”.
There were issues of invading the privacy of people he investigates.
According to Anas, the quack doctor who played the role of an Abortion Lord in the Wild Ghana project flatly denied the act; he later admitted to police 92 of the women fell victim to his practice.
But he said the issue of invasion of privacy does not supersede that of public interest.
“Issue of invading people’s privacy when practicing undercover journalism does not come to play”, he said.
He also defended why he preferred to hide his real identity because he “has an unfinished business” to do but believes God is the only one who protects him.
“God is the ultimate source of security, he explained.
On the issue of why Anas did not end investigations with the first victim in the Wild Ghana story, he said he needed more incriminating evidence against the “Abortion Lord”.
“I had to prove first a prima facie case against the man under investigation and I am sorry I did not stop at one until I captured the fourth woman”, he explained.
Anas Aremeyaw recently won the Young Achievers Award in Ghana but the award was collected on his behalf whilst he was away on Aljazeera’s Africa Investigates Project.
Source: MyJoy Online (Ghana)
By Ohemeng Tawiah, 30 October 2012