Crowdfunding Investigative Projects Turns Readers into Editors

In a search for cash to finance investigative journalism projects, an independent Brazilian news agency is trying to turn readers into editors. The idea was greeted with great interest during a panel discussion this week at the four-day, semi-annual Global Investigative Journalists Conference (GIJC2013) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The idea is simple: those who help finance the agency can choose what journalists should investigate. With this concept, Agência Pública raised almost $30,000 from 808 backers for a project called Reportagem Pública (Public Report).

Just in! US$7,000 in Seed Grants for Best Prototypes at GIJC13 Hackfest

Mariano Blejman, director of the News Innovation Program for Latin America ( and Justin Arenstein, executive committee representative of the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), have announced that their organizations will pledge US$ 7.000 in seed grants for best prototypes developed during Hack in Rio, the hackday at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, an event that combines the 8th Global Investigative Journalism Conference, the annual Latin America Investigative Journalism Conference (COLPIN), and the International Congress of ABRAJI (Brazil’s investigative journalism association).

Investigative Journalism Key Measure of Democracy Health

A democracy is measured by its citizens’ ability to speak freely, Catalina Botera, special rapporteur for freedom of expression at the Organization of American States, said yesterday during the opening plenary at the eighth biennial Global Investigative Journalism Conference. “Half the population doesn’t live in a democracy. The other avatar.jpg.75x75px50 percent struggle to protect freedom of speech,” she said. “In the alleged democracies, the thermometer is free speech. And investigation journalism is the mercury. Only if we protect investigative journalists can we say we live in a democracy.”

Oil Industry’s Relationships with Governments Vexed by Complications

Journalists willing to take on their governments and investigate oil production must be fearless by necessity. But a session at the Global Investigative Journalist Conference (GIJC2013) this past Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, highlighted the complexities facing muckrakers trying to extract meaningful data from national governments and titans of industry, despite requirements for transparency. During the session, panelists discussed the glut of data that is simultaneously making investigations into the global extractive industries around the world easier, yet more difficult.

An Infusion of Transparency in the Arab World

Rana Sabbagh, executive director of Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) could not be prouder.This past weekend she had the opportunity to present the work of her association at the four-day Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Rio de Janiero, which because it has drawn more than 1,300 journalists from 89 nations is being called “The World Cup of investigative journalism”.
During a session dedicated to “The state of global investigative journalism,” this prominent Jordanian journalist described several ground-breaking, undercover investigations executed in the Arab world.

African Journalism Unit Focuses on Environmental Threats

Endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, the oxpecker bird clings on to large mammals, feeding off the ticks, flies and other pests found on their hosts hide.“We aim to do the same with the world body,” says founder Fiona Mcleod, making one of the 150 panel presentations at the Global Investigative Journalists Conference (GIJC2013) this week in Rio de Janeiro. In this instance, however, the parasites she plans to identify and destroy are criminal poachers, such as those destroying African rhinos.

Meet Your New Best Friend: Hackers Aid Digital Journalists

Hackers are journalists’ new best friends. They source, scrape, and program data – so reporters can uncover stories that might not otherwise be revealed. And slowly, they’re carving out a place in the assembly line of journalism, according to Miguel Paz, a journalist and founder of Poderopedia (, a website that exposes the relationships between the business and political world in Chile using publicly available dataHackers and computer geeks have to be your best friend he said, because “[they] know how to do things that you don’t know…You need that person and he needs you because you as a journalist….make good questions. Of course I know how to scrape and get the data out but what do i do with it? That’s where you come in.”

Facebook, el Amigo Detective

Aunque la compañía o persona que estamos investigando sea escurridiza y cautelosa, buscadores y redes sociales pueden llevarnos rápidamente al rastro de nuestro objetivo, al de sus amigos o al de quien tuitea junto a él. Paul Myers se ha consolidado como un experto en búsquedas en Internet y durante el workshop “Rastreando las redes sociales” mostró cómo encontrar lo que nunca conseguiríamos en una simple pesquisa en Google.

Investigating the Environment to Solve a Murder Mystery

Mark Schapiro’s job is to prevent murders. He is not a cop, nor a judge or a psychological counselor. Actually, Schapiro is an award-winning environmental journalist. Years ago, when Schapiro was collaborating with law enforcement officials in charge of enforcing environmental crimes, it dawned on him: “Whether the murder of an ecological system that supports us, or really, literally, a killing,” Schapiro says, “the core of environmental journalism is investigating murder and stopping it in the future.”

Persecutions of International Investigative Journalists

Immediately after the Global Investigative Reporters Conference (GIJC2013) opened for four-days of meetings this weekend, the first showcase panel assembled to just how dangerous it has become to speak truth to power. Investigative reporters and editors from Jordan, Peru, England and South Africa discussed their current projects and the dangers facing investigative journalist in their parts of the world.