#CovidCrimeWatch is a new initiative by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime that explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on illicit economies across the globe. Every week it will publish a selection of stories from across the world that examine the relationship between the global health crisis and organized crime. From a slowing down of the drugs trade, to an increase in counterfeit goods, the spread of the virus will have dramatic consequences for the world of organized crime. Be sure to check out the report "Crime and Contagion: The Impact of a Pandemic on Organized Crime."
Source: Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime
As CPJ's Executive Director Joel Simon writes, governments are cracking down on journalists and implementing sweeping restrictions under the guise of combating misinformation and “fake news.” He notes that in recent days, police in Venezuela violently detained a journalist and social media commentator in reprisal for reporting on COVID-19, while in Iran, the government has imposed sweeping restrictions on coverage as part of a systematic effort to downplay the scope of the public health crisis. Meanwhile, Egypt has pressured journalists to downplay the number of infections, going so far as to revoke the credentials of a Guardian correspondent and reprimanding the bureau chief for the New York Times because of a tweet.
Italy's groundbreaking investigative nonprofit, the Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI), has launched its first online media outlet, IrpiMedia. After seven years producing content for other media, IRPI can now feature stories on its own website. IRPI, which has won international acclaim for its investigations into organized crime, will feature on the new site written investigations as well as podcasts and documentaries. The site also includes an secure tip box for anonymous tips, called IrpiLeaks
South Africa's groundbreaking investigative nonprofit, GIJN member amaBhungane, is celebrating its ten year anniversary. Spun off from the Mail & Guardian, journalists Stefaans Brummer, Sam Sole and their colleagues have built a nonprofit newsroom and training center with a team of 12 and annual budget of nearly US$600,000. The group's investigative prowess is well known in Africa, but amaBhungane drew international acclaim for its award-winning reports on the so-called Gupta Leaks story, helping lead to the resignation of former South African President Jacob Zuma. As for the name amaBhungane: it translates as “dung beetles,” a Zulu version of muckrakers.
Prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York City-based Columbia Journalism School has banned all student field reporting for at least six to eight weeks. "Effective immediately, no J-School students or researchers should conduct in-person reporting, filming, recording or interviews for Columbia classes or projects," wrote deans Steve Coll and Sheila Coronel in an email today to students and faculty. "We can make the best of these circumstances by intensifying our engagement with reporting from a distance," they added, citing as an example "international coverage of the Syrian war." They noted that "video and visual production classes will face the greatest challenges."
Source: Columbia Journalism School
Given the unpredictability of COVID-19, the Global Investigative Journalism Network announced Friday that it is canceling this year’s Asian Investigative Journalism Conference, which was slated for October 16-18 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. IJAsia20 would have been the fourth Asian Investigative Journalism Conference, which previously met in Manila, Kathmandu, and Seoul. Instead, GIJN will begin work on next year’s Global Conference and a host of new projects, and promises to return to Asia in 2022.