Editor’s Note: For months, GIJN has been working with our colleagues in India in support of launching that country’s first nonprofit center for investigative journalism. Although there are more than 100 nonprofits worldwide working on investigative reporting, in fast-growing, dynamic India — with nearly 1.3 billion people — the country has lacked a center focused on in-depth investigations into corruption, lack of accountability, and abuse of power. That is no more. We’re proud to welcome the Centre for Investigative Journalism, India, and we anticipate great things from our colleagues there. Here we reprint the Centre’s founding statement.
The Centre for Investigative Journalism is India’s first independent and non-profit organization dedicated to support and strengthen in-depth and investigative journalism in India. It is registered as a trust with the Government of India and is headquartered in New Delhi.
The primary mission of the CIJ is to provide a centre of excellence for the training of journalists, to promote best practices of journalism, to raise the standard of critical reporting to a high professional level and to build a network of watchdog journalists in India.
The CIJ will provide resources and new media techniques to journalists across India. We’ll conduct investigative journalism training classes, workshops, conferences and data boot camps to train a new generation of Indian watchdog journalists.
We’ll be building association with journalism schools and institutions across India to form a stronger and wider collaboration.
The need for such an organisation in India has never been greater. While the Indian media undoubtedly is free and vibrant, deadline pressures, market pulls, competition, budgetary constraints, and sometimes legal and safety issues make it difficult for many journalists to delve into the causes and broader meanings of news events.
More importantly there is no platform for investigative journalists in the country where they can share ideas, skills and knowledge and support each other in order to enhance critical inquiry and professionalism
The CIJ does not intend to replace the work of individual newspapers or TV news channels. We, however, aim to bring investigative journalists from different states together in teams – eliminating rivalry and promoting special reporting projects with larger public interest, focusing on underreported and unreported issues.
Together, we aim to be the India’s best investigative team.
Our team will help reporters to use Right to Information Act to produce investigative stories. We’ll file RTI requests on behalf of journalists in order to protect their identity. This is critically important because many who sought information through RTI have been threatened, attacked and even killed.