In the closed Facebook group ”Mission Afghanistan”, where about 7500 members share their knowledge about deportations, Dialogue Journalism is developed. The Blankspot editor-in-chief believes that this working method promotes involvement, ensures improved features and is a way to rebuild trust in the media.
Tensions heightened in August 2017 after bloody clashes between loyalists of the regime and the opposition. In September more blood is shed and an embarrassing incident involving fake news hit the regime. Blankspot’s Martin Schibbye visited Togo to take the pulse before the upcoming local elections in 2018 and the looming presidential election in 2020. In May, he met with members of the growing opposition, democracy activists, university professors and students.
For eight years, Wassila Seidou has fought to free her 75-year-old father, who is a political prisoner in Togo. After years of torture and the rough conditions in the prison, his health is deteriorating. Without his family, Issifou Seidou would have been dead a long time ago, she says. Human rights organizations in the Togolese Republic are doing what they can to stop torture and help those who are victims of the Gnassingbé Dynasty.
After eight years in prison, and as many of gruesome torture, 75-year-old Issifou Seidou’s health is deteriorating. The Togolese naturalized Swedish citizen was captured when visiting his native country and accused of treason. Blankspot’s Martin Schibbye is the first journalist to be granted an interview with Issifou Seidou.
Johan Gustafsson is back in Sweden after almost six years as a prisoner of an Islamic terrorist organization. While most Swedish and European media outlets have reported on his release in both breaking news and follow up news stories, Blankspot has been granted unprecedented access to Johan’s observations in terms of his kidnappers and AQIM. In a long-form exclusive with Martin Schibbye, he tells the story about the people who held him prisoner.
Just as Donald Trump was moving into the White House, a bitter powerstruggle ensued in The Gambia. While liberals marched against what they perceived as a threat against democracy in the U.S., the first democractically-elected Gambian president was blocked from entering his country and inauguration. For a week, Gambia’s future looked grim and regional troops prepared for an armed interference. From January 16 to 22, Blankspot followed journalist Sheriff Bojang Jr. – seven days that shook West Africa.
Transnistria, a piece of land sandwiched in between Moldavia and Ukraine, is often described as a “black hole” where human trafficking and weapons smuggling are businesses nobody questions. Less known is the fact that Sweden recently changed its stance toward the regime by cutting off aid for people who have been tortured in the prisons of Transnistria. Blankspot spent 24 hours in the country that doesn’t exist, to find out why.
Despite harsh criticism by the United Nations and human rights organizations, Eritrea’s ministers in Asmara feel more and more positive. Several nations have begun to make contact with Eritrea for different reasons. Eritrea doesn’t want to lose their young generation while Europe doesn’t want them knocking at their door.
Eritrea is one of the world’s most secretive countries. Every year thousands of people flee to Europe. Now that the nation has begun allowing foreign journalists entry for the first time in many, many years, Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson traveled there to find out how the Eritrean ministers are looking at the future.