Journalism Panel Violently Disrupted

Last week an event held by South Africa's amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism was disrupted by a group of several dozen who sang, shouted and physically threatened participants and members of the public. AmaBhungane's Stefaans Brummer told a local radio station after the event that it was unfortunate that police, who were called to the site after the disturbance, stood by and watched instead of assisting. The event was held to discuss #GuptaLeaks, a collaborative investigation by amaBhungane, News24 and the Daily Maverick’s Scorpio which further explores allegations of state capture and corrupt relationships between President Jacob Zuma and his allies and the controversial Gupta family.

Source: amaBhungane

Posted on: July 31, 2017

Court Wants Password to Facebook Account

Colombian investigative journalist William Solano is being prosecuted for slander after writing multiple articles for independent news site DCERCA on administrative corruption in his home municipality of Buga. In the journalist’s ongoing trial, the local district attorney has sought access to Solano’s communications in order to identify key sources in his reporting, who until now have remained anonymous. In late June, a judge authorized the district attorney to search Solano’s Facebook account. The prosecutor is now demanding the journalist’s account password.

Source: Media Shift

Posted on: July 18, 2017

Former Minister Gets Media Freedom Post

The new representative for Freedom of the Media in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is the former French secretary of state for European Affairs, Harlem Désir. His appointment should be formalized on 18 July. Members of the OSCE finally overcame months of deadlock on filling top posts, including this one.

Source: European Federation of Journalists and Reuters

Posted on: July 17, 2017

Police Chief Credits Journalists for Protecting Cops

The police chief of a small Alabama town is thanking investigative journalists for helping protect his cops. Mike Ready, chief of the McIntosh Police Department, publicly thanked reporters at the local FOX10 News TV station after they dug into leaks of toxic chlorine at a nearby chemical plant. The station began to investigate after a police officer fell ill when responding to a leak in February, and revealed that 738 pounds of chlorine gas had escaped. The cops now have better response gear. Said Ready: "I don't think it would have been taken very seriously if you guys hadn't have gone in and done your investigative reporting on it. You guys played a huge part.. our officers needed... this equipment."

Source: FOX10 News

Posted on: July 13, 2017

Jordan Bans Entry of Egyptian Journalist

Jordanian airport authorities asked an Egyptian journalist to return home after he arrived at Amman’s international airport late Monday to attend a workshop on digital investigations, according to Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism. ARIJ’s Rana Sabbagh said immigration authorities denied entry to Wael Mamdouh without explanation. Mamdouh, who works for the Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm, has attended at least five trainings and annual forums in past years in Amman without difficulty and has produced, with support of ARIJ, several hard-hitting investigations.

Source: ARIJ

Posted on: July 11, 2017

Google Funds 107 Digital News Projects

In the third round of the Digital News Initiative fund, Google has awarded more than €21m to 107 journalism projects in 27 countries across Europe. The recipients of the funding range from prototypes to medium and large projects focusing on investigative reporting, fact-checking and virtual and augmented reality. Just under half of the projects funded are collaborative, with 47 per cent of the initiatives produced in partnership between multiple organizations and across different countries.


Posted on: July 7, 2017

China Cracks Down On Internet Content

Over the last month, Chinese regulators have closed celebrity gossip websites, restricted what video people can post and suspended online streaming, all on grounds of inappropriate content. New regulations state that at least two "auditors" will be required to check all audiovisual content posted online to ensure they adhere to "core socialist values." Topics deemed inappropriate include drug addiction and homosexuality.

Source: Reuters

Posted on: July 5, 2017

Angolan Journalist Indicted for Story

Angolan Journalist Rafael Marques de Morais has been indicted for the second time for exposing government corruption. In an article published on his anti-corruption watchdog website Maka Angola, Marques exposed the illegality of Angola’s Attorney General to act as a property and real estate developer in addition to his legal duties. The article also questioned the tolerance of the president, José Eduardo dos Santos, towards his subordinates who openly disobey the constitution. Marques was indicted upon his return from Washington, DC, where he was honored with the National Endowment for Democracy’s 2017 Democracy Award. Marques was previously imprisoned for calling President Dos Santos a dictator in an article in 1999. He was released after international advocacy efforts on his behalf.

Source: National Endowment for Democracy

Posted on: June 26, 2017

Tool: 100,000 Datasets in 100 Countries

A free tool which offers open access to 100,000 public datasets from over 100 countries was released this week by data management and intelligence company Enigma. The tool, called Enigma Public, brings together information from international organizations and federal governments, and local and state governments in the US, spanning subjects such as building permits and fire inspection data, to the contents of shipping containers and financial contributions to political campaigns.


Posted on: June 22, 2017

UNESCO: LatAm FOI Laws Among Best

Latin American laws on access to public information are among the best in the world, according to a new UNESCO report. With the exception of Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba and Venezuela, most countries in Latin America have laws that guarantee access to official information. The real challenges, the report notes, are in implementation, impact and access.

Source: Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Posted on: June 20, 2017