Introducing GIJN’s New Guide to Citizen Investigations

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Illustration: Ann Kiernan

Citizens can investigate, and they do — all over the world. Today we’re launching a new GIJN Guide to help non-journalists investigate even more. It’s full of techniques used by investigative journalists that will be helpful to citizen investigators, too. These include searching the internet, finding out who owns corporations, investigating politicians, and much more.

By citizen investigators we mean ordinary citizens, members of nongovernmental organizations, and non-journalism professionals interested in using investigative techniques to uncover wrongdoing and expose the invisible.

There are many impressive examples from around the world of citizens investigating, and some of these are included in the guide.

Digital disruption and increased access to the internet means the line between professionally trained journalists and alternative investigators (be they citizens or NGOs) is increasingly blurred, so we can expect the number of citizen investigations to grow.

We hope this guide will help to raise the bar for all types investigators around the world. It’s a work in progress and we welcome suggestions for expanding this resource. Please write to us here.

GIJN is grateful to Jim Mintz, founder of the DigLab Foundation, for supporting this guide. We would also like to thank Marc Fader, DigLab’s Program Director, and Ann Kiernan, the illustrator who created this guide’s artwork.

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