Journalist Accused of Terrorism for Reporting

Brazilian journalist Felipe Oliveira has been accused of promoting terrorism after infiltrating a group of sympathizers of the Islamic State as part of a journalistic investigation. The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) reported that a judge accepted a complaint by the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office in Paraná in February 2018. In early 2016, Oliveira entered a virtual forum using a code name to investigate methods of the IS to recruit young people in Europe. He then began to communicate with members of Brazilian groups sympathetic to the IS. The investigation resulted in 2016 reports for Folha de S Paulo and for TV Globo's Fantástico program.

Source: Knight Center

Posted on: April 25, 2018

Google Rolls Out Subscription Tool

Google rolled out its new subscription tool today. It picked the California-based newspaper chain McClatchy as its first launch partner, using the opportunity to show its support of local news outlets. Subscribe with Google will let users subscribe to online publications in a two-click process, highlighting in search results content from the publications that people subscribe to. Users will be able to use their Google accounts to pay for and access their subscriptions and avoid the old process of having to sign in when they switch devices. McClatchy is implementing Subscribe with Google at all 30 of its local sites.

Source: Digiday

Posted on: April 24, 2018

Russian Journalist ‘Falls’ to Death

A prominent regional journalist investigating crime, politics and the war in Syria has died following a fall from a window of his fourth-floor apartment in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city. Maxim Borodin, 32, was found by neighbors on the ground outside his apartment on Friday. He died in hospital two days later, without ever regaining consciousness. Borodin was well-known for delving into Yekaterinburg’s criminal underworld and was among those who broke the story of unreported deaths in the Kremlin’s shadow armies fighting in Syria.

Source: Independent

Posted on: April 17, 2018

Pulitizers Honor Investigative Reports

This year's Pulitzer Prizes were just announced, honoring coverage of sexual predators, Russia & Trump, America's opioid epidemic, and the Philippines' murderous drug war. Big congrats to the New York Times, Reuters, the Washington Post and the other winners. Investigative journalism featured prominently in the local, international, national and public service categories.

Source: Pulitzer.org

Posted on: April 16, 2018

‘Soros Mercenaries’ Named in Hungary

A pro-government weekly in Hungary has published over 200 names of people it says are likely part of a group that Prime Minister Viktor Orban calls "mercenaries" who are paid by US-Hungarian billionaire philanthropist George Soros to topple the government. Those on the list include members of rights organizations such as Amnesty International, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, refugee advocates, faculty and officials from the Soros-founded, Budapest-based Central European University, as well as investigative journalists from GIJN member Direkt36.

Source: US News/AP

Posted on: April 12, 2018

Myanmar Massacre Reporters To Be Tried

Two Reuters journalists arrested while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims will face trial in Myanmar after a court rejected a motion to drop the case against them. Reporters Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were detained in December and accused of violating the country’s Official Secrets Act for possessing material relating to security operations in Rakhine state that was handed to them by the police. Myanmar has faced global condemnation and accusations of extrajudicial killings, ethnic cleansing and genocide as about 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Rakhine for Bangladesh after a military crackdown on insurgents.

Source: The Guardian

Posted on: April 11, 2018

Outcry Over Homeland Security Database

Pen America has joined a jittery journalism community in condemning the US Department of Homeland Security’s plan to create a searchable database of journalists, media influencers, editors and foreign correspondents. They called the database “alarming in the context of the Trump Administration’s vitriolic attacks on the media” and said it must be “quashed immediately.” Earlier this month, DHS posted a request for information seeking a contractor to compile the database. But DHS spokesperson Tyler Houlton said the move is “nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events in the media,” accusing those sounding the alarm of being “conspiracy theorists.”

Source: Pen America

Posted on: April 10, 2018

Google and ICFJ Launch MENA Training

The first Google News Initiative launched this this week with a large-scale effort to offer digital skills training to thousands of journalists across the MENA region. In partnership with the International Center for Journalists, the training series will focus on digital tools to gather and source information, enhance trust and verification and support data-driven journalism and immersive storytelling. The program will take place over the next year and will see 4,000 journalists trained in six countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia.

Source: ICFJ

Posted on: April 5, 2018

Montenegro: Car Bomb Near Journalist Home

A car bomb exploded on Sunday outside the home of a journalist who was investigating organized crime groups in Montenegro. The explosion rocked the northern Montenegrin city of Bijelo Polje an hour after a new pledge by the National Security Council to tackle organized crime. No one was injured in the bombing, the seventh this year. The Montenegrin Journalists Association said Sead Sadikovic had been threatened because of his investigative work. Organized crime groups have grown prevalent in Montenegro over the past few years, with violence moving into residential areas. Many of the killings are assumed to be connected to cocaine smuggling.

Source: OCCRP, Balkan Insight

Posted on: April 3, 2018

Int’l Stories Honored by 2018 IRE Awards

The just-announced IRE awards honor powerful stories ranging from U.S. sex harassment to murders in Kiev and London. Winners of IRE's top honor, a medal, included the documentary Killing Pavel, on the murder of a Russian journalist in Ukraine, produced by GIJN members Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and Slidstvo. "This year’s entries were among the finest examples of investigative reporting I’ve seen since I began my tenure on the awards committee," said contest chair Jill Riepenhoff.

Source: IRE

Posted on: April 2, 2018