A new project that aims to place 1,000 journalists in US newsrooms in the next five years was announced at the Google News Lab Summit this week. Report For America takes ideas from the Peace Corps, Americorps, Teach for America and public media, though it receives no government funding. RFA is a partnership between Google News Labs and the Groundtruth Project and its reporters will get training from the Center for Investigative Journalism, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the Solutions Journalism network and the Knight Foundation.
After nearly six years as president of the Open Society Foundations, one of the world's top donors to independent media, Chris Stone is leaving. His focus had been to tame what was widely seen as a dysfunctional and overly complex billion-dollar foundation with offices in 39 countries. What will the leadership change mean to OSF grantees, many of them investigative journalism groups under attack in developing and transitioning countries?
Source: Inside Philanthropy
China issued new rules on instant messaging chat groups, tightening control over online discussions. Beijing has been ramping up measures to secure the internet, a process that has accelerated ahead of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party. Group chats on instant messaging apps and online commenting threads have seen a surge in popularity in China partly because they are private for members and so in theory are subject to less censorship. Internet chat service providers must now verify the identities of their users and keep a blog of group chats for no less than six months.
The International Federation of Journalists joined its local counterparts in expressing serious concern this week over a defamation lawsuit intended to silence a daily newspaper in Kathmandu (also known as SLAPP, strategic lawsuit against public participation). The managing director of state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation filed the case against Nagarik, claiming $780,000 in damages. The daily has published a series of investigative stories on corruption involved in the procurement of land by oil company. A parliamentary probe committee investigated the issue and found procurement procedures were not followed in purchase of the land.
El Faro and Revista Factum, two Salvadoran digital news outlets specializing in investigative journalism, began receiving direct threats on social media networks. The threats identified journalists by name and included photos. Journalists at the two outlets said they believed the threats were in response to an article published on Revista Factum's website about an elite anti-crime unit's alleged involvement in criminal activity including three extrajudicial killings, sexual assault and extortion.
The Guardian has established a nonprofit, theguardian.org, to focus on tapping philanthropic organizations for financial help with investigative journalism and reporting on social justice, inequality, human rights and climate change. The unit, which received its tax-exempt status in October 2016, has secured more than $1 million in funding from the Skoll Foundation, which was set up by Jeff Skoll, the first president of eBay; Humanity United, part of the Omidyar Group founded by the eBay founder Pierre Omidyar; and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the organization set up by the hotel entrepreneur.
Source: New York Times