Center for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan is an independent not-for-profit organization. Registered under Trust Act, the Center is the first of its kind in Pakistan and promises a radical change on the map of journalism.
We are a group of like-minded journalists struggling to stand the Center on the ground through producing a kind of work already not in fashion. The intended purpose is to inform the society about the happenings in the way they happen. Doing so will help them in making informed decisions.
About the Founder
Umar Cheema founded the Center in collaboration with like-minded journalists. Cheema is an Investigative Reporter with The News. He studied at London School of Economics and received training at The New York Times as Daniel Pearl Fellow other than working with Pakistan newspapers for last twelve-year. His journalism at the cost of personal risks won his global recognition. He is the recipient of International Press Award (Committee to Protect Journalists), Missouri Medal Honor for Distinguished Services in Journalism (Missouri University), Tully Free Speech Award (Syracuse University) and Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism (Martha Gellhorn Trust).
The idea of raising CIRP has been conceived to do and encourage systematic, in-depth and original reporting. At a time when the speculative journalism is proliferating and in-depth reporting is shrinking, the CIRP aims to bring a turn around. We are of the firm belief that democracy without transparency would be like a fish out of water. Concerted efforts will be in place to straighten out the situation through critical scrutiny of every institution without fear and favor.
Pakistan has a resilient media with a history of resistance against the odds. The flood of private TV channels has reinvigorated it further. The resulting success is the emergence of a vibrant civil society, mass awareness and critical public opinion. The issues never addressed before are brought under the spotlight for critical scrutiny. But a lot remains untold. The statement journalism still precedes the critical reporting. In a country hit by crisis, a successful reporter is supposed to keep pace with the events. Those intended to get into the nitty-gritty, delve into the past happenings or deflect attention from the burning to the cold issues, find it hard to sell their stuff. Setting up of a center like CIRP is intended to steer the journalism out of crisis, give journalists a proper direction and strengthen the craft of investigative journalism.