Stories from East Europe, Brazil Win Shining Light Award

Winners of the sixth Global Shining Light Award were announced at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference tonight in Lillehammer, Norway. The prize honors investigative journalism conducted in a developing or transitioning country, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions. The award drew 76 submissions received from 34 countries, for stories published or broadcast between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

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Database Launched with +300 Latin American Investigations

A unique database of more than 300 investigative journalism reports from across Latin America was launched this week by The Institute for Press and Society (Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, or IPYS). Called BIPYS (Banco de Investigaciones Periodisticas, or Bank of Investigative Journalism) the UNESCO-backed initiative was announced July 6 at the annual conference of Abraji, Brazil’s investigative journalism association.


When Sources Lie: Why You Can’t Rely on Confidence or Consistency

How do reporters know when their sources are telling the truth? In the collapse of Rolling Stone’s November story on campus rape, a gullible reporter relied far too heavily on the unchallenged word of an alleged victim. Heinrich Böhmke, an adviser to the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting, takes a look back at the case and warns that journalists should learn from the law and apply a tough standard even when sources are convincing, confident, and have consistent stories.

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2014 IRE Award winners Announced

The annual awards are out from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the world’s largest and oldest association of investigative journalists. Each year the organization honors “outstanding investigative work” with its highly regarded IRE Awards. The prizes are given in 16 categories that include small to large markets, broadcast and multimedia, books, FOI, students and more. A GIJN founding member, IRE began in 1975 and is based at the University of Missouri Journalism School.

Muckraking Environmental Documentary Too Much for Beijing

The 103-minute documentary on pollution that has taken China by storm — Under the Dome — has proven too much for officials in Beijing, who have removed the film from popular Chinese video sites. After the video’s online release on February 28, Under the Dome garnered an extraordinary 100 million views in under 24 hours.

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Think Tanks: Why Journalists Should Be More Skeptical

Think tanks are no less susceptible than any other institution to the temptations of money and power. There is a real need to address the single most important ingredient of a think tank’s quality: the integrity of its research. Journalists can do their part by treating claims of impartiality more skeptically and providing context about possible conflicts of interest.


Tips & Tricks from DataHarvest

Busy months for European muckrakers and data geeks. just organized another successful DataHarvest+ conference, with more than 200 people discussing investigative tools, data, security, funding, and more. Below, a recap of some of the best tips and tricks shared in Brussels. [View the story “Tips & Tricks from DataHarvest+” on Storify]


Investigating with Drones, Stone Tablets, and LinkedIn

This video was taken by a drone and then posted on a popular web portal in China. It provides an aerial view of the luxurious home of the son of Zhou Yongkang, the country’s security chief. There’s not much commentary here, just tracking shots of a white, two-story mansion built in the traditional style. But the real evidence showing corruption in the Zhou family wasn’t dug up by drones. Instead, it was names etched on tombstones in a village in China’s Jiangsu Province that allowed reporters to find the corruption trail.

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South African Awards Showcase Impressive Investigations

Despite a tough environment for investigative reporting, South Africa’s muckrakers are turning out some of the world’s best journalism year after year. Here are the finalists and winner of the just announced Taco Kuiper Awards, that country’s highest prize for investigative journalism. In the awards presentation, Wits University Journalism Professor Anton Harber talked about the extraordinary range of reports submitted, from corrupt officials and crooks to rhino horn smuggling, bad doctors, botched circumcisions, and lion hunting.


Spurring Cross-Border Collaboration on Journalism Investigations in Latin America

More and more, Latin American journalism is thriving in the digital space. Investigative journalism platforms online are joining forces, data journalism bootcamps are taking off and there are new accelerators looking to fund innovative news projects. “In today’s world, journalists spend more time in the virtual world than in the paper stacks,” said Carlos Eduardo Huertas, director of Connectas, a nonprofit which supports transnational journalism.