Syed Nazakat — Asia/Pacific
Syed Nazakat is an award-winning journalist, media entrepreneur and editor-in-chief of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit organization he founded to promote the cause of watchdog journalism in India. In 2015 he also set-up a data journalism initiative called DataLEADS which conducts data analysis, boot camps and runs India’s first data-driven website dedicated to healthcare reporting, called Health Analytics India. He has more than 16 years of experience across broadcast, print and online journalism, and has reported from over 25 countries. He covered the war in Afghanistan, political turmoil in Nepal, developmental issues in Laos and Cambodia, unrest in Thailand, the conflict in India’s Kashmir region, India-Pakistan border tension and the civil war in South Sudan. He was the first Indian journalist to report from an Al-Qaeda rehabilitation camp in Saudi Arabia and in 2013 he secured unprecedented access to the military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to report about prison abuse cases.
Prior to his current role he was special correspondent at India’s leading news magazine The Week. Before that he was based in Bangkok, Thailand with Asia News Network (ANN) as an assistant news editor. Nazakat has been the recipient of several journalism awards including India’s prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award, Karmaveer Puraskaar national award and Christiane Amanpour Award for Religion Journalism.
Over the past decade, Nazakat has produced stories that revealed India’s secret torture chambers, the country’s rendition program in Nepal, suicides in the Indian military, arms smuggling in Bangladesh, misuse of anti-terrorism laws, corruption in arms procurement, poor condition of Indian prisons and women trafficking from Afghanistan.
His work has also appeared in TIME magazine, The Daily Star, and Christian Science Monitor.
Nazakat is a fellow at the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines and has taught as visiting faculty at Convergent Journalism program at AJK Mass Communication Research Centre – Delhi and at ACFJ, Manila. He is also president of Society of Asian Journalists (SAJ), an independent organization established by the ACFJ alumni & supported by KAS, Singapore to serve free & independent journalism in Asia.
Anton Harber – Africa
Anton Harber was founder-editor of the anti-apartheid newspaper the Weekly Mail (now the Mail & Guardian). He is now Editor-in-Chief of South Africa’s leading news channel eNCA, Caxton Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and chair of the Freedom of Expression Institute. He is convenor of judges for South Africa’s biggest journalism prize, the Taco Kuiper Investigative Journalism Awards and Grants. Harber’s books include Diepsloot (Jonathan Ball, 2011), winner of the Recht Malan Prize, and The Gorilla in the Room (Mampoer Shorts, 2013). Harber co-edited the first two editions of The A–Z of South African Politics (Penguin, 1994/6), What is Left Unsaid: Reporting the South African HIV Epidemic (Jacana, 2010), Troublemakers: The best of SA’s investigative journalism (Jacana, 2010) and contributed to Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World (New Press, 2014).
Brant Houston, Chairperson. North America
Brant Houston is the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois. For more than a decade, he was executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors – where he built its membership to more than 4,000 – and before that worked as an award-winning investigative reporter and database editor at U.S. newspapers. He was part of the staff at the Kansas City Star that won the Pulitzer Prize for its work on a hotel building collapse that killed 114 people and wrote the first overview story of the survivors. He is a co-founder of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Investigative News Network and advises nonprofits newsrooms in the U.S. and internationally. He is co-author of the Investigative Reporter’s Handbook and author of Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide. He has served as a judge for editorial awards for the Society of Publishers in Asia contest, the Selden Ring Award, the Philip Meyer Award Journalism Award, and the Forum for African Investigative Reporting.
Rana Sabbagh — Middle East/North Africa
Rana Sabbagh is executive director at Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) – the region’s leading media support network spreading the culture of “accountability journalism” in nine Arab states since 2005. She has dedicated the last 31 years of her career as journalist, columnist and media trainer to promote free speech, independent media and human rights. As former chief editor of the Jordan Times (1999-Jan 2002), she became the first Arab female in the history of the Levant to run a daily political newspaper. She was correspondent for Reuters International News Agency (1987-1997) and helped establish Jordan’s latest independent newspaper, Al-Ghad. In addition to her post at ARIJ, she is a regular columnist for Al-Hayat and regional media consultant/trainer for Thomson Reuters Foundation. She is a jury member of UNESCO’s annual world media freedom prize.
Fernando Rodrigues — Latin America
Fernando Rodrigues has been with the news portal UOL since the year 2000. UOL is a leading Internet portal in Brazil with a traffic of 35 million unique visitors. Rodrigues pioneered political journalism on the Internet in Brazil and started in 2000 a political blog and web site at UOL. In 2002 he launched “Políticos do Brasil,” a website and database with information about Brazilian politicians. Rodrigues has widely used database journalism techniques in Brazil in the past 15 years. He worked 27 years for Folha de S.Paulo, the country’s major newspaper, from 1987 through 2014, where he served as economics editor in São Paulo and foreign correspondent in New York, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. Based in Brasília, he also worked as both a political columnist for the paper’s op-ed page and a features and investigative reporter. Additionally, Rodrigues has been a prime time daily political commentator since 2007 for Jovem Pan, a leading radio station with a national audience of some 25 million listeners. Rodrigues has won several journalism awards, including the web journalism prize from “Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano” headed by Gabriel García Márquez. His latest book, “Políticos do Brasil”, was awarded the best journalism book in Brazil in 2006. In 2002, he helped co-found Abraji, the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism, served as its president in 2010-11, and remains on its board. Rodrigues was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2007-08.
Eva Jung, Europe.
Eva Jung is a reporter with the investigative team at the daily Berlingske in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is vice chair of The Danish Association for Investigative Journalism. At Berlingske, she has worked full time at the newspaper’s investigative team since 2011. Here, she has made a wide spectre of in depth stories. The first case of matchfixing in Danish football. That Danish pension funds and local governments against the internal rules invested in government bonds issued in some of the world’s most corrupt and dictatorial regimes in Africa. How the catholic church of Denmark for decades kept sexual assaults hidden from the public, moved priest to new parishes and along the way told the stories of abused children that are now men. In 2015 the data project #Tracked (#Sporet in Danish), mapping all personal metadata of two politicians down to every last detail won the Scandinavian and the Global Data Journalism Award. Eva Jung is the vice chair of the Danish Association for Investigative Journalism (FUJ) since 2013. Within the association, that dates back to 1989, she organizes a wealth of events for members and the yearly investigative conferences for FUJ.
Marina Walker Guevara, Treasurer
Marina Walker Guevara is deputy director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a global network of reporters who collaborate on cross-borders stories. Her investigations have uncovered environmental degradation by mining companies; exposed illegal fishing syndicates and revealed the true owners behind shell companies in tax havens. She recently co-managed “Offshore Leaks,” an investigation based on 2.5 million secret offshore files, which involved reporters in nearly 60 countries. Marina’s stories have appeared in leading international media including The Miami Herald, Le Monde, The Washington Post, El País and the BBC. Her investigations have won and shared more than 20 national and international awards, including from Investigative Reporters and Editors, Overseas Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists and the European Commission. Marina graduated magna cum laude from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences, and earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Margo Smit, Vice Chairperson.
Margo Smit is ombudsman for journalistic productions at NPO, the Dutch public broadcasting system. Till summer of 2015, she was an independent investigative TV-documentary filmmaker and director of the Dutch-Flemish Association of Investigative Journalists VVOJ. Smit is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and covered their #LuxLeaks investigation on tax evasion through Luxembourg for Dutch public TV. Smit is vice-chair of the Global Investigative Journalism Network. She teaches (investigative) journalism at various journalism schools in the Netherlands and Flanders. Smit studied journalism in the United States. In 1989 she began working as a news and features reporter for a Dutch commercial TV station and later as their political correspondent. In 1997, she transferred to KRO Reporter, an investigative television documentary series on Dutch public TV, where she worked till 2009. Smit investigated, for example, the Dutch monarchy, nuclear safety and proliferation, accounting transparency at multinationals, Islam, honorary killings and the banking industry. She was co-producer of a KRO Profiel documentary on controversial politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali nominated for the Prix Europa in 2005. She was a juror for the Daniel Pearl Award and the M.J. Brusseprijs for non-fiction in the Dutch language, and currently is a juror at the DIG Awards (investigative documentaries, Italy) and the Global Shining Light Awards.
Jan Gunnar Furuly
Jan Gunnar Furuly is a staff reporter at the daily Aftenposten in Oslo, Norway, and chairman of SKUP (The Norwegian Foundation for Investigative Journalism). He has worked at Aftenposten, Norway’s leading quality newspaper, since 1990. He started his career in the local paper Finnmark Dagblad in the arctic part of Norway. During his time in Aftenposten he has worked with a wide spectre of news stories and for nearly four years worked as managing editor of the news room. He is news reporter at the culture and debate department at the moment. Board member and web editor at SKUP (Norwegian Foundation for Investigative Journalism) since 2002, chairman since 2012. He was the main organizer for SKUP of the fifth Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2008 at Lillehammer, Norway, which gathered over 500 participants from 88 countries. The conference is returning to Lillehammer in October next year. Member of GIJN’s volunteer committee since it started. Chairman of Norwegian Environmental Journalists 2000-2003. Member of the administrative council of International Federation of Environmental Journalists 2000-2003. Lecturer in investigative journalism/computer assisted reporting since 1996 for colleagues and students in Norway and more than 20 other countries.
Carlos Eduardo Huertas
Carlos Eduardo Huertas is the Director of CONNECTAS and also the Chief of Party of the Investigative Reporting Initiative in the Americas, a project of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). CONNECTAS is a regional journalistic platform that promotes the interchange of information and knowledge about key issues in the Americas. It started during Huertas period as a Nieman Fellow 2012 at Harvard University with the support of the Knight Foundation. Now, this platform is consolidating in the region of the hand of the alliance with ICFJ. For more than a decade and until July 2013, Huertas worked with Semana Magazine, one of the publications top leaders in Latin America and he was its Investigation Editor. He began his journalistic career as a correspondent for the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) in monitoring Press Freedom and Expression in Colombia. In 2006 he founded Consejo de Redacción (CdR), a professional association in Colombia that promotes investigative journalism. He has been honored as an honorary member of CdR; as well as the Forum of Journalists of Argentina (FOPEA), and as Master Guest of Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for New Latin American Journalism (FNPI). He also is member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) since 2011, and he has participated in several of its investigations, including Swiss Leaks and Panama Papers. It is part of the first elected board of Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN). His reports on corruption, human rights violations, and environmental issues have earned him several national and international awards. He was part of the winning teams of the Award of the Inter American Press Association in 2015, the King of Spain Award (2008), and the IPYS – Tilac Award for the best investigative report in Latin America (2007, 2009).
Oleg Khomenok, Senior Media Advisor of Internews Network, program manager of Strengthening of Investigative Reporting in Ukraine project (Slidstvo.info), has above 20 years of experience in journalism, media education, and managing investigative reporting and media support projects in the post-Soviet media environment. Oleg has eight years of experience working as a reporter investigating political campaigns and ethnic minority issues in Crimea. He had been involved in establishing SCOOP project activities in Ukraine and Belarus since 2003, and has extensive experience consulting, coordinating, and networking investigative reporters. He is co-founder of Crimean Information and Press Center and Regional Press Development Institute, two Ukrainian members of GIJN. During the past decade Khomenok conducted several dozen trainings in investigative journalism techniques and strategies for investigative reporters in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, and other countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Coordinating an Award winning project YanukovychLeaks.org, Oleg together with a team of Ukrainian reporters organized tens of thousands of financial documents from the former Ukrainian president, rescuing and publishing them online.
Paul Radu (@IDashboard) has worked as an investigative reporter, editor, and trainer for the past 15 years in Eastern Europe as well as in Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America. He is the co-founder of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a network of investigative reporting centers in Eastern Europe, and of the Rise Project, a community of investigative reporters, hackers, and visual artists in his native Romania. Radu is an early practitioner of cross-border reporting, pioneering some of the early multi-country projects with ICIJ and OCCRP. He has developed tools such as the Investigative Dashboard and Visual Investigative Scenarios that are used by journalists to follow the money across borders or to map and visualize corruption and organized crime. Paul Radu has also authored or contributed to handbooks such as Follow the Money-A Digital Guide to Tracking Corruption and theData Journalism Handbook. There is more about Paul’s work here.
Bruce Shapiro, Secretary.
Bruce Shapiro is executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism encouraging innovative reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy worldwide. He is also director of Columbia’s Professional Programs Division, and for 20 years has taught investigative reporting at Yale University. As an award-winning human-rights reporter, Shapiro is a contributing editor at The Nation and the U.S. correspondent for Late Night Live on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National. His books include Shaking the Foundations: 200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America.
Mzilikazi wa Afrika
Mzilikazi wa Afrika is a multi-award winning journalist working for the Sunday Times investigations unit in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also the reigning chairperson of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR), an investigative journalism organisation with members from 36 different African countries. Mzilikazi is one of the doyens of South African investigative journalism with a career dating back to 1995, when he started as a freelance reporter for the Witbank News in Mpumalanga Province. Mzilikazi made international headlines when he was arrested at work in August 2010 just three days after the Sunday Times exposed national police commissioner in a R1.7-billion lease scandal. He was the co-author of the story. Mzilikazi successfully sued the minister of police FOR wrongful arrest. In the settlement letter the minister admitted that his arrest was “wrongful and illegal.” Over the years, he and his colleagues at the Sunday Times investigations unit have uncovered and exposed a number of dodgy deals and corrupt politicians, including the government’s controversial arms deal saga that landed former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni in jail and SAPS leases which forced the president to fire his public works minister, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, and national police commissioner Bheki Cele. The unit also forced the president to fire Dina Pule, who was a minister of communications, after she was exposed of dishing out government deals and favour for her boyfriend, a married father of three. Pule also flew her boyfriend around the world at taxpayers’ expense.