Candidates for GIJN Board of Directors 2018

Here are candidates for the GIJN Board of Directors, which will be voted on electronically by GIJN member organization representatives. GIJN members can vote for a maximum of four at-large board members.

Regional members from Europe, Asia/Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa are also eligible to choose one member to represent their respective region.

Ballots will be emailed to designated member representatives. If you are unsure who your representative is, contact us here.

For election background and rules, see GIJN Board Election— 2018.

Candidates for Board of Directors

All candidates are listed below in alphabetical order:

Anton Harber (Sub-Saharan Africa)

Carlos Eduardo Huertas (Latin America)

Eva Jung (Europe)

Oleg Khomenok (Europe)

Syed Nazakat (Asia/Pacific)

Bruce Shapiro (North America)

Margo Smit (Europe)


Anton Harber

Anton Harber is the Caxton Professor of Journalism (Adjunct) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He was a founder and editor of the anti-apartheid newspaper the Weekly Mail (now the Mail & Guardian), Editor-in-Chief of South Africa’s leading television news channel, eNCA, and chief executive of Kagiso Broadcasting.

He is chair of Africa Check, the continent’s independent fact-checking operation, and former chair of the SA Conference of Editors and the National Association of Broadcasters. He has served on the boards of the Campaign for Open Media, Freedom of Expression Institute, the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, Kagiso Media, East Coast Radio and Radio Jacaranda, inter alia. He is convenor of judges for the Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Journalism and has been a judge on the Sanlam Financial Journalism Awards, the Vodacom South African Journalism Awards and the CNN/Multichoice African Journalism Awards.

Under Harber, Wits Journalism has become a centre of activity around investigative reporting. Apart from teaching and research, the workshop hosts the annual African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC); the country’s biggest journalism prize, the Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Reporting; the Taco Kuiper Grant Fund for Investigative Reporting; and the Wits Justice Project, which investigates issues in the justice system. This year, we are launching the OSF Investigative Journalism Fellowships, designed to grow the next generation of journalists.

Harber has just published Southern African Muckraking – 300 years of investigative reporting which shaped the region (Jacana, 2018). He wrote the award-winning Diepsloot (Jonathan Ball, 2011) and The Gorilla in the Room (Mampoer Shorts, 2013), and co-edited the first two editions of The A–Z of South African Politics (Penguin, 1994/6).

As a candidate for the new board in GIJN, he says:

We need to consolidate the enormous gains we made by hosting the 2017 Global Investigative Conference (GIJC17) in Africa. The conference highlighted the range of work being done in this continent, as well as the challenges we face to grow and defend it. I hope to continue this by: building our annual African conference (AIJC) as part of the global network; ensuring African work continues to find its place at the global conference; building networks across the continent, particularly around cross-border work, offering mutual support, assistance and defence; building home-grown training teams with cutting edge skills; teaching and research. Sub-Saharan Africa has seen a recent blossoming of investigative journalism centers which are playing a crucial role in opening up new space for reporters who find themselves unable to do investigative work in newsrooms, and we need to support and protect these initiatives.



Carlos Eduardo Huertas

Carlos Eduardo Huertas is 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 platform that promotes the interchange of information and knowledge about key issues in the Americas. It started during Huertas’ time as a Nieman Fellow 2012 at Harvard University with support of the Knight Foundation. For more than a decade and until July 2013, Huertas worked with Colombia’s leading Semana Magazine, where he served as Investigations Editor.
Huertas began his journalism career as a correspondent for the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) in monitoring press freedom in Colombia. In 2006 he founded Consejo de Redacción (CdR), a professional association that promotes investigative journalism in Colombia. He has been a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) since 2011, and participated in several of its investigations, including Swiss Leaks and Panama Papers. He is part of the board of Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN). His reports on corruption, human rights, and environmental issues have earned him several honors, including the Award of the InterAmerican Press Association (2015), the King of Spain Award (2008), and the IPYS – Tilac Award for best investigative report in Latin America (2007, 2009).

As a candidate for the new board in GIJN, he says:

Latin America faces growing challenges related to what happens in the rest of the world.
The democracy in some countries is just a skin to protect authoritarian governments. Inequality marks a region full of wealth. And abuse of power come from corporations, irregular armed groups, and drug cartels. This is the context for new independent journalistic organizations. They have the courage, talent, skills and motivation. But they need to further improve the connections between themselves and between other groups around the world.
That is one of my personal causes for years. I’ve helped to connect people and organizations that believe in similar values, and have interested to do more and better journalism.

GIJN is a place to generate these opportunities. I have worked as an investigative reporter and I know well that we face challenges ranging from improving our training and the immersion of the majority in using new technologies, to look for sustainable models for new journalistic organizations. With your support, as part of the GIJN Board, I offer my best efforts to serve as a bridge to help strengthen and consolidate what is already happening.


Eva Jung (Europe)

Eva Jung is an investigative reporter with the Danish newspaper Berlingske and has been part of the board of GIJN 2016-2018. For almost two years she has worked with uncovering the €200 billion money laundering scandal at Danish lender, Danske Bank, a case that is now one of the biggest ever known. Big parts of the investigation was done as a cross border cooperation with OCCRP and other media and has led to authorities in the US and several places in the world investigating the bank as well as the CEO, the chair of the board and others in top management stepping down. The work earned Jung and two colleagues the award of best journalistic investigation in Denmark in 2018. After seven years at the investigative desk at Berlingske Jung also currently works as the newspaper’s EU correspondent in Brussels. She has therefore taken a break from the board at GIJN member FUJ (The Danish Association of Investigative Journalism) after many years as vice chair. Eva has FUJ’s full support to run for GIJN’s board.

As a candidate for the new board in GIJN, she says:

Independent, investigative journalism is under immense pressure in an era of fake news claims and attacks on journalists all over the world. We need the network of GIJN to help us stick together and stay strong.

After two years of serving on the board I feel like I have just started getting to know GIJN and hope to get the chance to continue the work with promoting and supporting the development and spreading of investigative journalism around the world. I especially like the GIJN work of scrutinizing new member organizations and collecting input for the conferences.

I first met GIJN in Kiev in 2011 and have not missed a conference since. For me these gatherings can be likened to a Christmas eve for journalists. They have given my many precious gifts in the form of new practical skills, inspiration to start new investigations and a network of colleagues to collaborate with across borders. The sharing environment of GIJN with the goal to make colleagues better and more equipped instead of competing is unique. Without GIJN I would probably not have gotten on the track to investigate the major Danske Bank scandal. It is safe to say I feel thankful to and in debt to the network. I hope to keep serving on the board to make sure other colleagues get the same opportunities that I have had.


Oleg Khomenok (Europe)

Oleg Khomenok is a senior media advisor of the Internews Network and Chair of the Board of Regional Press Development Institute. He has over 20 years of experience in journalism, media education, and managing investigative reporting and media support projects in the post-Soviet media environment. He also has eight years of experience working as a reporter investigating political campaigns and ethnic minority issues in Crimea.

Oleg has been involved in establishing and managing SCOOP projects in Ukraine and Belarus on 2003-2016. He is co-founder of two Ukrainian members of GIJN: Crimean Center for Investigative Reporting and Regional Press Development Institute. Over the past decade he has 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. Working over YanukovychLeaks.org, Oleg together with the team of Ukrainian reporters organized thousands of financial documents from the former Ukrainian president, rescuing and publishing them online. On 2014-1017 he worked as program manager of the award-winning weekly IR TV project Slidstvo.info.

As a candidate for the new board in GIJN, he says:

My goal to be at the GIJN Board is to develop and strengthen the investigative reporting network throughout post-Soviet countries. Since GIJN was established there are about 20 member organizations representing Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Armenia, Belarus and Baltics in the network. And more than half of them became members during the last three years.

In a time of mass disinformation campaigns, using trolls and digital weapons to undermine investigative reporting, this is important to set up collaboration between professionals speaking different languages but using the same professional standards in their daily journalism. I’m sure that spreading the information about GIJN opportunities among the Russian speaking investigative reporting part of the world will strengthen collaboration and increase the professional level of local reporters and GIJN itself.

I will continue to develop a network of IR professionals of Ukraine and other FSU countries as well as seeking for the sources of diversification of IR support of GIJN in this part of the world.


Syed Nazakat (Asia/Pacific)

Syed Nazakat is an award-winning journalist, media entrepreneur, founder and Editor-In-Chief of DataLEADS, which is a data-driven Indian initiative aimed to create new platforms of data research and storytelling. He is also founder of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit organization he founded to promote the cause of watchdog journalism in India. Syed Nazakat leads CIJ, India and DataLEADS in New Delhi, as well as overseeing outreach of both platforms across Asia with different partners including with Asia News Network (Thailand), a network of 22 leading Asian daily newspapers in 20 Asian countries, with a combined circulation of 14 million and a readership of more than 50 million.

He has worked in senior positions at different media organizations and has over 17 years of experience as broadcast, print and online journalist. He has reported on wars, armed conflicts, human rights issues & security and developmental issues from more than 30 countries and has 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, the civil war in South Sudan and political instability in Bangladesh. He was the first Indian journalist to report from an Al-Qaeda rehabilitation camp in Saudi Arabia and in 2013 he was given unprecedented access by the USA to the military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to report about prison abuse cases.

Nazakat has been the recipient of several national and international journalism awards including India’s prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award, Karmaveer Puraskaar national award and Christiane Amanpour Award, British Medical Journal award, Finalist for Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting (Geneva), Kurt Schork International award (London), German Development Media Award (Berlin) and Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents 2014, France.

Syed Nazakat is also President of Society of Asian Journalists (SAJ), an independent organization of 400+ editors and journalists in 27+ Asian countries. He is member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Washington). He edited a watchdog journalism manual for Asian investigative journalists. The manual is now available in four Asian languages and is taught in many journalism schools in Asia. He holds B.Sc degree from India and Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass communication from the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.

As a candidate for the new board in GIJN, he says:

I’m running for a second term on the GIJN board because we’re at an important and critical moment of growth. We see more and more impact of our work in the region and elsewhere. We’re also aware that while today the watchdog journalism is facing its own challenges there are new opportunities as well.

In Asia, particularly, we’re finding not only growth of our conferences, but rise in the world-class, cross-border investigative reporting which depends on the training platforms and collaborative network which GIJN has helped to foster.

I’ve been closely associated with the concept and planning to establish and conduct Asia’s first investigative journalism conference. Today the GIJN’s pioneering investigative journalism conferences in Asia have grown into robust platform for watchdog journalism in the region and have given much needed support to investigative journalism by bringing together investigative journalists and by facilitating collaboration. There are more investigative journalists and journalism centers in Asia today than ever before.

For the last two years, in my function of the GIJN board, I have seen the leadership of the GIJN from close-up, seen the organization expand and the services rendered to members and journalists all across Asia grow at an unprecedented rate. I played my part in overseeing the developments in Asia, assisting and advising the GIJN leadership on selecting journalists from Asia for regional and global conferences and identifying new member organizations. I’ve also tried to pay particular attention to support colleagues in Asia to establish investigative reporting newsroom strategies and new centers for investigative journalism. Though our data boot camps, we introduced GIJN to new audiences and communities in different parts of Asia.

Five years ago GIJN had only three members in Asia; today we have 15 members and we’re growing and spreading to new areas to support watchdog journalism. This year we welcomed four watchdog journalism centers in the GIJN, including Afghanistan’s PAYK Investigative Journalism Center which is a pioneering institute for investigative training and reporting in the war-torn country. More recently Philippines’s VERA Files joined GIJN. With this GIJN’s global membership has grown to 173 groups in 75 countries.

At GIJN, we’ve been supporting our colleagues in Sri Lanka to establish the country’s first Centre for Investigative Journalism which was recently launched. With support from Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, I edited a watchdog journalism manual for Asian investigative journalists. The manual is now available in four Asian languages and is taught in many journalism schools.

Now we’re in the process of setting up Watchdog Asia which will be Asia’s Centre for investigative journalism, a Pan Asia initiative to bring Asian investigative journalists together for reporting and capacity building. It is important that this is fully integrated into the global network, as well as reaching into all parts of our large continent.

I want to strengthen the Asian presence and role in GIJN and ensure that we maximize support and encouragement for investigative reporting across the region, where the network has an important role to pay both in terms of encouraging cross-border reporting and in supporting watchdog journalists.


Bruce Shapiro (North America)

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.

As a candidate for the new board in GIJN, he says:

I am running for re-election to an at-large board slot because the next two years will be crucial in securing GIJN’s future. Our network’s growth has exceeded all expectation – in the number of member organizations, breadth of activity and scale of funding. But with that growth come challenges and risks.

Over the last two years I have served as board secretary, as a member of the four-person Executive Committee and as chair of the Membership Committee. I am proud to be part of a board that has effectively supported GIJN’s director and growing professional staff, focusing our efforts on fiscal oversight, forward-looking strategic planning and increasing the capacity of staff and board alike. And as executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a founding GIJN member organization, I have tried to bring both global perspective and administrative experience to the board’s discussions.

Over these last two years, membership in GIJN has grown by a staggering 52 percent, from 114 members to 173. We face important challenges in managing this explosive growth, ensuring that new and old members alike are substantively engaged with GIJN’s work; that the network serves the needs of our diverse member organizations, without compromising standards and values; and that GIJN nurtures a new generation of leaders.

Over the next two years GIJN is confronting a world of both breathtaking innovation for investigative journalists, and gravely increased threats to our members. The board will be crucial to keeping GIJN engaged, relevant and resilient through this important period.


Margo Smit (Europe)

Photo: Michel Schnater

Margo Smit is newsombudsman 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. During her recent term on the board, Smit was vice-chair of the Global Investigative Journalism Network.

Smit was a teacher 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, the DIG Awards (investigative documentaries, Italy) and the Global Shining Light Awards.

As a candidate for the new board in GIJN, she says:

Was there ever a day when GIJN didn’t exist? Where did reporters turn to then, for help and advice, international contacts, cross-border training, tips on fundraising, finding like-minded colleagues to work with? I remember those days, but am I glad they are over… As money crosses borders, and people, and crime and what not, so must journalism be able to network. To cover what needs to be covered and uncover what needs to be uncovered. With GIJN at the center of the international journalistic ecosystem, investigative reporting has become not easy but at least a lot easier.

As vice-chairperson and executive board member for several terms now, I have worked with director, secretariat and my fellow board members on building and professionalizing GIJN. Having been involved in this international network since its inception in Copenhagen 2003, it makes me extremely proud to see how the network has grown and become more and more indispensable to investigative reporters across the globe. I have considerable experience on the executive board, enabling the director and secretariat to run a smooth and efficient organization while also working on the development of GIJN’s future. I would like to sit on the board for another term, being part of the institutional memory every organization needs but also to be a force for bringing young reporters into investigative journalism and into GIJN itself.