Cecil Rosner has been a professional journalist in Canada for the last four decades, concentrating for most of that time on reporting and supervising investigative journalism projects. He has taught the principles of investigative journalism widely, and is the author of the definitive history of the genre in Canada – Behind the Headlines: A History of Investigative Journalism in Canada, published by Oxford University Press. He is currently the managing editor for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Manitoba, which includes supervising an enterprise and investigative team for the CBC network. He is a member of the organizing committee for the proposed Vancouver 2017 Global Investigative Journalism Conference.
Cecil’s work has been recognized in many ways over the years. He has won Michener and Gemini Awards for his journalism, medals from the New York and Columbus Film Festivals, along with many other distinctions. He has taught the principles of investigative journalism in seminars and workshops across Canada and abroad for the last 20 years, and currently teaches a course in Investigative Journalism at the University of Winnipeg. He holds an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He is also the co-author of When Justice Fails: the David Milgaard Story, which chronicled the story of a man who spent 23 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of murder.
Active in many journalistic organizations and initiatives over the years, he has participated in Global conferences in Copenhagen, Toronto, Kiev and Rio and numerous IRE conferences. He was the main organizer of a major international conference on investigative journalism in Canada, held in June 2014, called: Holding Power to Account: Investigative Journalism, Democracy and Human Rights. More than 70 speakers from around the world took part, with 325 people in attendance from 15 countries. As a candidate for the new board in GIJN, he says:
Journalists are increasingly coming under attack for doing their job of holding powerful interests to account. Whether it involves blowing the whistle on corruption or exposing systemic abuses, journalists need to feel confident that someone has their back. While some journalists are fortunate to have employers who stand up to pressure from outside forces, there can often be contradictions between the work investigators do and the goals of the institutions where they work.
This is why organizations like GIJN are so crucial. By banding together and working for common goals that further the practice of investigative journalism, people can better withstand the pressure that comes from challenging powerful people and governments. The GIJN would benefit from having a strong Canadian voice on its board.