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Sweden’s Gravande Journalister Marks 30th Anniversary

Kersti Forsberg, Director of Sweden’s FOJO Media Institute, speaks at GRAV19 in Kalamar, Sweden, which was held on April 5 and 6. Credit: Courtesy Gravande Journalister

Gräv, Sweden’s annual investigative journalism conference, took place in the seaside town of Kalmar on April 5 and 6. An estimated 600 journalists from nearly a dozen countries were in attendance to mark the 30th anniversary of Gravande Journalister, one of the world’s oldest associations for investigative reporters (and a founding member of GIJN).

With a theme of collaboration, GRAV19 presented 50 sessions, including an English track for international guests who came from as far afield as Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Russia and the US. The keynote was provided by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Martha Mendoza, who spoke on the investigative challenge of covering out of control wild fires — a growing problem in both Sweden and her native US.

The annual Grav awards for investigative journalism, the “Guldspaden” or Golden Spade awards, were given out in seven categories, honoring investigations that included unqualified nurses working in Swedish hospitals (in the national broadcasting category) and the Olaf Palme murder (in the magazine category).

GIJN and its partners particularly welcomed news at Grav of unprecedented support by our Swedish colleagues to the 2019 Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Hamburg: A grant to Gravande Journalister will bring up to 50 Journalists from the Middle East and North Africa to the global conference this September in Hamburg.

In addition, a crowdfunding campaign was launched to support young journalists to attend GIJC19, which raised about $2,000.

Photo: Courtesy Gravande Journalister

GIJN and its co-hosts — Germany’s Netzwerk Recherche and Interlink Academy — are grateful and excited about this generous support. It comes just days after GIJN member SKUP, Norway’s association of Investigative Journalists, held its own conference with a record 640 people and announced a grant to bring up to 55 journalists from Asia, Africa and the Middle East to the global conference.

The combined support from our Scandinavian colleagues is sure to set a record for the number of journalists from developing countries who will get training at GIJC19. “With democracy, accountability and even basic facts under global attack, the need to train and network the world’s investigative journalists has never been greater,” said GIJN’s Executive Director David E. Kaplan. “Thanks to unprecedented support from our Norwegian and Swedish colleagues, we are taking a giant step forward.”

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