ICIJ and ProPublica Get Pulitzer Prizes

This year's just-announced Pulitzer Prizes are full of great investigative reporting. Notable among the winners is the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its partners in The Panama Papers, earning ICIJ its first prize (for explanatory reporting on secret offshore accounts). Another GIJN member, ProPublica, was honored with its third Pulitzer, for uncovering abuse of eviction rules by police to oust poor minorities. The Washington Post won for coverage of Donald Trump, while the New York Times won for coverage of Russian dirty tricks in projecting power. 

Source: Pulitzer.org

Posted on: April 10, 2017

Omidyar Launches $100m Media Fund

A major new philanthropic fund was announced today by the Omidyar Network at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, UK. The philanthropic investment firm is pledging US$100 million to support investigative reporting, combat hate speech, and bolster civic technology. Among the first recipients is GIJN member ICIJ, which will get $4.5 million over the next three years. Omidyar's Stephen King hopes this will inspire other donors to join the cause. "This is a lot of money, but it’s also not a lot of money," he says. "We need others to step up to the plate." 

Source: Omiydar Network

Posted on: April 5, 2017

Omidyar Funds Give $12m to IJ Nonprofits

Investigative journalism nonprofits got a $12 million boost today from two funds supported by tech philanthropist Pierre Omidyar. The Democracy Fund and First Look Media are awarding three-quarters of the money to the three largest U.S. nonprofit investigative newsrooms, the Center for Investigative Reporting, Center for Public Integrity, and ProPublica (all GIJN members). Additional grants are going to the Investigative Journalism Workshop at American University, a new State and Local Investigative Fund to support local reporters, a new "laboratory" for community-supported investigative reporting, and a program to provide legal and information access support to US journalists.

Source: democracy fund

Posted on: March 27, 2017

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