Protecting Dwindling Forests With FOI Laws

With deforestation growing rapidly, and retaining forests key to halting climate change, getting data on what's happening is both critical and challenging. Yet countries with over half the world’s forests lack accessible information on concessions, according to a new study by the World Resources Institute. The study, Logging, Mining and Agricultural Data Transparency: A Survey of 14 Forested Countries, found that not only are freedom of information laws effective in improving access to forest data, but countries with FOI laws tend to disclose concession data more proactively than those without them.

Source: World Resources Institute

Posted on: March 23, 2017

OCCRP, 14 GIJN Members Track $21B

How do you track $21 billion in laundered money from Russian banks? The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and Russia's Novaya Gazeta obtained detailed banking records for over 120 suspect accounts, and shared the data with reporters from over 30 outlets (including 14 GIJN members). Dubbed "The Russian Laundromat Exposed," the project details "how more than $20.8 billion was taken out of Russia and laundered, who got the money, and why some of the world’s largest banks failed to shut the scheme down."

Source: OCCRP

Posted on: March 20, 2017

Science Mag Launches Investigative Fund

Science magazine, the prestigious journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has launched the Science Fund for Investigative Reporting. The new fund will support “ambitious projects in investigative reporting and data journalism… stories about the scientific community and its practices, the influence of money and politics in science, and science-related public policy that can only be brought to light through extensive reporting, documents, and data.” The fund plans on awarding four to five annual grants of between $10,000 to $15,000. Smaller (or larger) grants are possible, depending on the project.

Source: Science

Posted on: March 9, 2017

NICAR Data Tip Sheets & Links Posted

IRE's annual NICAR conference, the mother of all data journalism events, just concluded in Jacksonville, Fla. From Carto and Google Earth to JavaScript and Django, there are some 75 tip sheets and presentations posted. The four-day gathering attracted hundreds from around the world.

Source: IRE

Posted on: March 6, 2017

20-Country Project to Bare MP Tax Returns

Starting February 28, journalists from 20 countries have been engaged in a joint campaign to ask 7000 members of parliament to disclose their tax returns. The campaign was inspired by the 2012 groundbreaking investigation by Pakistani journalist Umar Cheema which revealed that 70% of Pakistani’s 446 MPs had failed to file tax returns, including the president of Pakistan and 34 government ministers. The project is being coordinated by London-based nonprofit Finance Uncovered, a GIJN Member.

Source: Finance Uncovered

Posted on: March 6, 2017

ICIJ Becomes an Independent Nonprofit

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has spun off from the Center Public Integrity, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit news organization that housed it for nearly 20 years. Known for its cross-border investigative collaborations, most notably the Panama Papers, ICIJ was in negotiations with the parent CPI for months to become an independent entity. "We believe this new structure will allow us to extend our global reach and impact even farther," wrote ICIJ Director Gerard Ryle. 

Source: ICIJ

Posted on: February 27, 2017

CPJ: Trump Damaging Global Press Freedom

The Committee to Protect Journalists' Joel Simon in the New York Times today spared little in his critique of the Trump Administration's anti-press campaign: "In President Trump’s carpet bombing of the news media, it is not just the United States’ global reputation that is collateral damage. Rather, it is the brave journalists on the front line who risk their lives and liberty to bring the world the news. It is to our great shame that they can no longer count on the support of the United States."

Source: New York Times

Posted on: February 26, 2017

Media Are “Enemies of the People”: Trump

Battered by tough news coverage and a flood of leaks, Donald Trump this week lashed out at the news media in his harshest language yet, branding it "the enemy of the American People!" on Twitter. The comment brought widespread condemnation -- Republican columnist David Brooks called it "rhetoric straight out of the fascist playbook," and his own cabinet members backed away from the phrase. But it has left journalists wondering if Trump supporters may feel emboldened to launch physical attacks against the press.

Source: BBC

Posted on: February 19, 2017

Apply Now: Global Shining Light Awards

Every two years, GIJN presents the Global Shining Light Award, a unique award which honors investigative journalism in a developing or transitioning country, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions. The winner receives an honorary plaque, US$2,000, and a trip to the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in November to accept the award in front of hundreds of their colleagues from around the world. Deadline to apply: May 15.

Source: GIJN

Posted on: February 14, 2017

SecureDrop, Signal Used for Trump Leaks

The news media is using two tech tools to help facilitate the unprecedented flood of leaks coming from the Trump White House: SecureDrop, an encrypted platform for sending leaks, and Signal,  a messaging app with end-to-end encryption. "It's hard to name a news organization that has not gotten in touch with us about installing SecureDrop in the past six weeks," says Trevor Timm of SecureDrop's Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Source: CNBC

Posted on: February 11, 2017