Journalists from 33 countries streamed into Manila late last month for Uncovering Asia: The First Asian Investigative Journalism Conference. The organizers — GIJN, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) — hoped for at least 150 people, but more than 300 came, full of energy, from Japan to Mongolia.
The video above, produced by KAS, captures the spirit and drive that marked this groundbreaking, three-day event. Our post-conference survey showed extraordinary levels of enthusiasm. Fully 96% of those responding said they would attend a similar event. “Asia is ready!” our co-host, PCIJ director Malou Mangahas, told attendees. “Asia is ready!”
As a result of the conference, investigative journalists are forming new networks and nonprofits in Southeast Asia and South Asia. GIJN anticipates adding member organizations from India, Indonesia, and Thailand. And 300 journalists are returning to their offices with enthusiasm, the latest tools, and the knowledge that they are part of a global network.
And while you can program panels and workshops, you can’t program what kind of energy and attitude people bring to an event. “What meant the most was meeting so many people with the single-minded mission to bring about change and uncover people and systems that impeded this,” said Priya Rajasekar, a journalist who teaches digital media at India’s Asian College of Journalism. “It is the collective energy of groups like this that can expose corruption and inequalities on a global scale.”
Big thanks to KAS, the Open Society Foundations, and our many other supporters who made this happen.