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Around the World

In Press Freedom Win, South Africa Abolishes Criminal Defamation

Source: Committee to Protect Journalists

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a bill earlier this month abolishing the crime of defamation, a significant win for press freedom in the country. The new law, the Judicial Matters Amendment Act, removes all criminal penalties for claims of defamation, which is often used in other jurisdictions and countries around the world to chill investigative journalism and legally harass watchdog reporters. “The long-awaited repeal of the crime of defamation in South Africa is an important victory for press freedom and hopefully will reverberate positively across other parts of the region,” said Angela Quintal, head of CPJ’s Africa program, in a statement.

Submit Entries for the 2024 Online Journalism Awards

Source: Online News Association

The Online News Association (ONA) is accepting entries for the 2024 Online Journalism Awards, which recognize excellence in digital reporting. O​​nline journalists, digital news organizations, and students worldwide can apply. Twenty-three award categories include breaking news, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, public service, climate change, and more, as well as a new category for this year: Excellence in AI Innovation. Submitted entries must have been published between May 26, 2023 and April 30, 2024. Works may be submitted in any language, but English translations are strongly recommended. The submission portal will be open until May 9, 2024.  

EU Court Reinstates Requirement for Publicly Accessible Amazon Ad Library

Source: TechCrunch

Amazon will have to reinstate its publicly accessible online advertisement archive, according to a new ruling by the European Union's highest court. This transparency requirement was part of the EU's recently-passed Digital Services Act, but the tech giant had won a temporary reprieve from the law, until that decision was reversed last month. The ruling was hailed as a win for transparency groups and investigators trying to understanding what types of ads and influence campaigns Amazon puts on its platform and how those are monetized by the online marketplace.

Nominations Open for Asia Journalism Award

Source: Asia Society

Journalists are encouraged to submit nominations for the 2024 Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia. The so-called Oz Prize — sponsored by the Asia Society and named in honor of former Newsweek editor Osborn Elliott — is awarded annually to the best print or online story about Asia. This year's award will be judged by a jury that includes jury chair Marcus Brauchli, former editor of The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. To qualify, submissions must be individual stories that have been published (or co-published) in English during the 2023 calendar year. The deadline for applying is April 15, 2024.

Israel’s Plan to Ban Al Jazeera Draws Protest

Source: Committee to Protect Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) opposes a proposed ban of Al Jazeera by the Israeli government. Earlier this week, Israel passed a law that would allow the government to shut down the Jerusalem offices of Al Jazeera, which has produced numerous investigations of the war inside Gaza. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned Al Jazeera's reporting, calling it a "terrorist channel" and baselessly claimed the news site is conspiring with Hamas. "The law grants the government the power to close any foreign media outlets operating in Israel, posing a significant threat to international media within the country. This contributes to a climate of self-censorship and hostility toward the press," warned CPJ's program director, Carlos Martínez de la Serna.

After One Year in Prison, Reporter Evan Gershkovich Sees Detention Extended Three Months by Russian Court

Source: Committee to Protect Journalists

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has spent the past year in Russian prison, had his detention extended yet again — for three more months — by a Moscow court this week. Gershkovich was arrested and charged with espionage in 2023 and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) annual prison census last December, Russian was the fourth-worst jailer of journalists worldwide in 2023. "Today’s ruling is yet another cynical affront to press freedom by the Russian authorities,” Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said in a statement.

Open Letter Calls on Meta to Save CrowdTangle (for the Elections, at Least)

Source: Mozilla Foundation

Advocacy organizations and investigative outlets including Rappler and CORRECTIV have called on Meta to abandon plans to shutter CrowdTangle, a tool "used by tens of thousands of journalists, watchdogs, and election observers to monitor the integrity of elections around the world." The tool is due to be wound down in August, which will "effectively prohibit the outside world, including election integrity experts, from seeing what’s happening on Facebook and Instagram during the biggest election year on record,” signatories of an open letter warn. The letter calls for the tool to be maintained throughout 2024. Meta says the decision is due to regulatory requirements. 

Rolling Applications for IWMF Fund for Indigenous Journalists

Source: IWMF

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is accepting rolling applications for its fund for Indigenous journalists reporting on the crisis of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit, and Transgender people (MMIWG2T). The funding — sourced from a US$750,000 grant by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation — directly supports Indigenous journalists’ reporting on violence experienced by members of Indigenous nations, and is designed to counter dominant and often inaccurate media narratives on the issue based on reporting by non-Indigenous journalists. Grants of up to US$5,000 will be awarded.

Apply for US$15,000 ‘Follow the Money’ Reporting Grants

Source: City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism

The Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York has opened applications for its McGraw Fellowships for Business Journalism. The fellowships, which are available to freelance or staff journalists with at least five years of experience, provide up to US$15,000 as well as editorial support to complete a "follow the money" investigation related to the global economy, business, or finance. The fellowship window opens twice a year, in the spring and the fall. The deadline for the current application period is March 31.

Applications Open for 2024 BIRN Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence

Source: BIRN

The Balkan Investigation Reporting Network (BIRN) Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence provides financial support and editorial mentoring to 10 journalists from Central and Southeastern Europe who have a story idea that needs dedicated reporting, in-depth research, generous funding, and sustained editorial attention to do it justice. Fellows’ stories are published by BIRN’s Balkan Insight and Reporting Democracy platforms and disseminated widely through their network of media partners. A bursary of €3,000 is available and the top three articles chosen by an international jury will receive awards. The fellowship now covers 14 countries.

Projects

Man voting in Brazil while others wait in line to vote

2024 Elections

Global elections in the year ahead — including presidential, legislative, and regional polls in at least 60 countries — will affect more citizens than in any previous year, and will likely reset humanity’s liberty compass for years ahead. This ongoing project will feature an updated elections reporting guide, stories on cutting-edge tools for investigating campaigns […]

GIJC23 conference investigative journalism Gothenburg Sweden

GIJC23

The 13th Global Investigative Journalism Conference (#GIJC23), held in Gothenburg, Sweden from Sept. 19 – 22, 2023, gathered more than 2,100 journalists from 132 countries to hold workshops, share innovative methods, and celebrate a community increasingly facing censorship, corporate hacking, and authoritarian threats. This project is a compendium of GIJN’s coverage of the conference panels.

climate change pledges investigating country commitments oil drilling protest

Climate Accountability

Today, there is plenty of beat reporting and feature writing about the world’s climate crisis. But what’s missing are the investigative journalists, the ones who follow the money and hold corporations and governments accountable for what they have done – and what they haven’t done. GIJN is working to change this. Our Climate Accountability Project […]

Videos

Resource Video

Investigating Elections: Threat from AI Audio Deepfakes

Elections all over the world are endangered by a vast array of sophisticated digital threats. This year, when more voters head to the polls than ever before, AI-driven deepfakes threaten electoral processes everywhere, with potentially disastrous consequences for at-risk democracies. AI-generated audio simulations — in which a real voice is cloned by a machine learning […]

Resource Video

Investigative Journalism and Digital Threats in 2024 Elections

Free and fair elections are fundamental to a functioning democracy. Investigative journalism helps to ensure the integrity of the electoral process by exposing and correcting false narratives and disinformation that can influence public opinion. This reporting not only helps voters to make informed decisions but empowers them to assess the information they encounter, fostering a […]

Resource Video

The Investigative Agenda for Climate Change

Although there has been progress on the development of affordable green energy, global greenhouse gas emissions are rising inexorably, according to one of the world’s leading authorities, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate change is global, but the causes are not: fossil fuels — largely coal, oil, and gas — account for more than […]

Resource Video

GIJC23 Interview – Jane Lytvynenko: Digital Threats Course

In this short interview Jane Lytvynenko, an independent investigative reporter and an instructor for GIJN’s Digital Threats course, talks about how to start investigating online manipulation and also what challenges she faces when doing digital threats investigations. ———————– The Global Investigative Journalism Network is an international association of journalism organizations that support the training and […]