What Journalists Can Learn from Navalny’s Investigative Team in Russia

Despite its overt political objectives, the research section of FBK — an anti-corruption nonprofit founded by Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny — has emerged as a potent investigative team that recently attracted 110 million YouTube views for a video that exposed massive corruption at a Black Sea palace. FBK’s head of investigations told GIJN about the methods the team uses for these investigations, and what professional journalists can learn from their approach.

Exposing How US Universities Profited from Indigenous Land

A joint investigation by a historian and a journalist revealed that a number of US universities were beneficiaries from land expropriated from Indigenous communities. The authors, Robert Lee and Tristan Ahtone, reveal what tools helped them uncover the story. They built a geodatabase and traced the money to find out where the land had come from and how much was paid for it.

Using a Mobile Phone Survey to Investigate South Sudan’s Conflict

In South Sudan, conflict and government repression make it difficult to do on-the-ground reporting, so a team of journalists designed a mobile phone survey to gather data on forced displacement and destruction across the country. Carolyn Thompson explains why their award-winning investigation may offer lessons to others working in repressive environments or facing movement restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Exposing Chaos and Repression in Wuhan with User-Generated Content

An Australian documentary team used user-generated footage to create a film about Wuhan, the city at the epicenter of China’s COVID-19 outbreak. They used clips filmed on mobile phones that showed people with the virus being dragged into vans by police, and bodies left on the street and on hospital floors, using different tools to verify the material.

How The New York Times is Visualizing the Smartphone Tracking Industry

The New York Times’ Privacy Project highlighted the alarmingly unregulated activity of location data companies collecting data from millions of smartphone users. As the coronavirus pandemic sheds further light on the uses and misuses of location tracking, here’s a deeper look at the project that visualized phones being tracked around the US, from the Pentagon and the White House to the streets of San Francisco.

Governments Delay Access to Information Due to COVID-19

Governments around the world, some which have sent workers home, are announcing interruptions in responding to freedom of information requests. Journalists are being told to expect delays in more than a dozen countries. But press freedom advocates warn that countries are taking big steps backward just when the free flow of information is most needed. GIJN’s Toby McIntosh rounds up some of the nations which have been affected.