A Bumper Crop of Award-Winning Investigations

‘Tis the season of media awards with lots of great investigative journalists — and great investigative stories — getting honored for their muckraking. We’ve picked some notable winners and finalists from the European Press Prizes, the Pulitzers, and the IRE Awards. Big congratulations to the winners and finalists, who have showcased grit and determination in exposing injustices and corruption across the globe. Despite all the challenges we face, muckraking has never been in better hands.

GIJN Members in the News

It’s been a busy first quarter of 2017 for GIJN members — from picking up Pulitzer Prizes to launching crowdfunding campaigns. There have also been new projects and new collaborations forged. Here are some noteworthy splashes made by GIJN members around the world.

Taco Kuiper Award: “We need probing, fact checked, fearless journalism”

In a time where too many editors are perceiving investigative reporting as a luxury which they can no longer afford, South African journalists are still spending their time digging and probing to expose wrongdoing. As Suzanne Venter picked up her Taco Kuiper Award for the story on the mentally ill patient scandal, she cited “not giving up”, “putting in extra hours” and “speaking to everyone involved” as the keys to do good journalism.

GIJN Member Civio: Fighting for Transparency in Spain

Access to public information, accountability and participatory democracy may have been a reality in many countries for some time — but in Spain they sounded like a utopia. Entrepreneur Jacobo Elosua and computer technician David Cabo decided that this had to change. Their brainchild, Civio, was just recognized with the Gabriel Garcia Marquez award in innovative journalism for its Medicamentalia investigation.

2016 ARIJ Prize Winners Showcase Courageous Work under Pressure

Five Arab journalists who exposed torture and injustice in their societies won the 2016 ARIJ Prizes at the end of the 9th Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) forum during a gala dinner on Dec 3. The awardees shone a spotlight on important stories and tackled them with courage and dedication, taking care to highlight the depth of human feelings in their stories.

How an Award-Winning Investigation Was Buried in Two Newsrooms

Earlier this month the Indian news site Newslaundry won a prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for a series of stories based on Right to Information (RTI) requests. The information — over 2,000 letters from Indian state-owned enterprises revealed how political leaders routinely misused up to US$15 million in public funds by asking for media ads or sponsorships for their pet organizations. Here’s the inside story of how the piece almost didn’t come to light.

China’s Environmental Journalists Shine Despite Dark Times

Over 100 outstanding Chinese journalists have received prizes in the six years that our awards have been handed out. During this time we have seen for ourselves the decline of the news industry – but also seen many fine journalists bucking that trend by carrying on the baton of journalistic ideals and professionalism. Journalism has never been an easy job, and those who possess the ideals and the strength of character of a good journalist will flourish even in the hard times.

Inside “Empire of Ashes”: Exposing Paraguay’s President as a Smuggler

Mauri König is a Brazilian investigative reporter. Last October, at the Global Investigative Conference in Lillehammer, König shared first place in the Global Shining Light Awards for his investigation “Empire of Ashes” on tobacco smuggling in Latin America. In this interview, Konig shares his views on what it’s like to uncover illicit interests involving the president of a country while working in a highly dangerous environment.