The Sigma Awards, which celebrate the best data journalism from around the world, are open for entry. Last years’ winners included the OCCRP, the Guardian, and partners for The Troika Laundromat project and Peru’s Ojo Publico for its anti-corruption algorithm, FUNES. Journalists have until February 1 to submit their work.
In a move that points to continued problems with criminal libel laws, Ecuadorian authorities convicted a local broadcast journalist for criticizing a governor over the lack of coronavirus tests for poor people. Juan Sarmiento faces 10 days in prison for making “expressions of discredit or dishonor,” an offense under Ecuador’s criminal code. Sarmiento hosts a nightly news and opinion program "Tendencia Digital," on Facebook and TV stations in Napo province. Too many countries still treat libel as a criminal, not civil, offense, say press freedom advocates.
Source: Committee to Protect Journalists
Australia's Judith Neilson Institute has launched a major cross-border initiative for Asian and international media on regional issues. The multiyear effort focuses on reporting collaborations, highlighting great journalism, mapping the news media, and tracking media freedom in Asia. Already underway are in-depth projects on digital crimes and the environment. Among the participants are GIJN members and partners Tempo (Indonesia), Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Malaysiakini, Centre for Media and Development Initiatives (Vietnam), Waseda Chronicle (Japan), Newstapa (Korea), and Hong Kong University's Journalism & Media Studies Centre.
Source: Judith Nielson Institute
Australia’s Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism and Gold award have been given to Mark Willacy and his ABC team for a six-month investigation into alleged war crimes by Australian special forces in Afghanistan. Judges said an “unflinching” approach had exposed “suspected cover-ups and deep cultural problems within Australia’s special forces.” Some 30 awards were given out as part of the 65th awards ceremony.
Source: The Walkley Foundation
The annual forum for investigative journalists in the Arabic-speaking world has kicked off, with events and training sessions leading up to an awards ceremony for the best investigations from the region on December 6. The ARIJ conference -- which is running under the theme “Connecting the World” -- is taking place virtually this year because of the pandemic. More than 2,700 journalists and media professionals are expected to take part.
The coronavirus pandemic and the way it is being handled by governments around the world has had a dramatic impact on independent news media. In an analysis of 165 independent news media organisations, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford found that despite increased audience numbers, more than a third of outlets expect revenues to drop by 30% or more this year. While most outlets have seen their audience numbers grow during the pandemic, a fifth of respondents – mostly in print newspapers – told Reuters their overall audience reach had declined.
Source: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism