Great Journalism of 2016

This is a list of winning stories drawn from 16 major global or regional journalism awards given in 2016, which hopefully might serve as a source of inspiration for you to find original stories, to innovate in how to tell them, or to find a thread to develop a fresh angle. Take heart that the quality of work by solo reporters or fledgling investigative teams can sometimes stand out as much as that of huge media outlets.

Stunned Open Government Community Searches for Solutions

December might be when thoughts turn to the holidays, but this year it’s also when anti-corruption activists and advocates for transparency and accountability came together at two major international events: the 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) and the 2016 Open Government Partnership summit.

250 Gather in Joburg for African Investigative Conference

This year’s African Investigative Journalism Conference, boasting about 250 attendees from 28 countries, concluded an enthusiastic three days of workshops and presentations on Wednesday in Johannesburg, South Africa. Now in its eleventh year, the AIJC is the largest gathering of investigative journalists in Africa. With 70 sessions, the conference was, as one attendee put it, “a candy store for journalists.”

Global Conference, Global Network

As we gather for the second Asian Investigative Journalism Conference, this seems a good time to share again with our colleagues where the Global Investigative Journalism Network and its conferences come from. It was a simple idea at the end of the 20th century — to gather the world’s investigative journalists to share their knowledge with each other — that gave birth to GIJN, which has now grown to 138 member organizations in 62 countries.

A Poor Journalist’s Text-Mining Toolkit

How can you search and analyze collections of documents on your own computers with simple tools? At DataHarvest, Robert Gebeloff and I ran a workshop to answer that question. As people were seemed interested, here’s a write-up of the two key tools we worked with: Apache Tika for content extraction and regular expressions in Sublime Text as an advanced search tool.

Humanizing Data: Using Numbers AND People

With the growing relevance and popularity of data journalism, it may be easy to prioritize numbers over people, and spend our time emphasizing the data through graphics, maps, charts, and other visual products. But sometimes the faces and names behind the data get lost. Fortunately, we have some guiding lights to keep us on the path of good journalism. Consider these highlights from the panel Humanizing Numbers at IRE16…

From Research to Publication: A Snap Look at Tips from IRE16

When it’s time to start a new investigation, journalists prepare themselves in different ways: from doing the research to pitching the story to building the narrative. It’s not about a single formula, but about integrating different resources and strategies. Here, we present a selection of the tips presented at the 2016 conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors (#IRE16), useful for starting and developing investigations.