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Getting Started in Investigative Journalism

33 posts

Resource Video

GIJC23 – Measuring Impact

Watchdog reporting makes a critical contribution to society by exposing wrongdoing, fighting corruption, and promoting accountability. But how do we measure this, and explain the value of investigative reporting to a skeptical public (and donors)? At a time of unprecedented attacks on the press, a broken financial model, and low public trust, it is critical […]

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GIJC23 – FOIA/RTI Investigations

More than half of the world’s countries have laws that require officials to supply public documents on request. These laws offer valuable windows for reporters, even for those outside of a country’s borders. But there are almost always tricks to targeting and expediting these disclosures, and this panel brings deep experience in how to do […]

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GIJC23 – Plane and Ship Tracking

A raft of new tools are helping journalists track shipping and aircraft around the world. The numerous ways to track ships and planes open a whole new range of stories for journalists to investigate, from following billionaires’ private planes to uncovering the details of refugee boats capsizing. ———————– The Global Investigative Journalism Network is an […]

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GIJC23 – Freelancing Survival Tips

Freelancing is a tough job; investigative freelancing is even harder. But it also brings independence and the ability to pick your projects. Here are tips from journalists from four countries with decades of experience in working on their own. ———————– The Global Investigative Journalism Network is an international association of journalism organizations that support the […]

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GIJC23 – Don’t Get Stuck in Side Tracks – Get a Plan

In this presentation, we will methodically guide you through the investigative process and show how to succeed with your project without getting lost along the way. Swedish journalists Emma Johansson and Jessica Ziegerer bring years of experience in investigative projects, both as reporters and editors. They work at the regional newspapers Helsingborgs Dagblad and Sydsvenskan, […]

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GIJC23 – Crowd Driven Journalism: Using Communities to Investigate

One of the great spin-offs of the digital age is that journalists can tap into crowds and communities in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. Local communities are reporting impactful stories, providing tips and resources, and bolstering the finances of watchdog media around the world. Here are journalists from remarkably diverse environments — Malaysia, […]

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GIJC23 – Basic Principles for Mapping Data Using QGIS

This hands-on class will deepen your reporting skills by using QGIS, a free, popular mapping program. More than pretty pictures, mapping programs help you uncover stories and discover important patterns. Crime, health, and environment are just some beats that benefit by knowing mapping skills. In this class you will get familiar with using QGIS and start doing fundamental analysis using real-life data.

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GIJC23 – Rewriting History: Investigations that Change Our Understanding of the Past

The best historians and investigative journalists share a great deal: they go after primary sources, they follow the trails of money and accountability, and they put events in a broader context that the public can understand. Often those events look shockingly different just 20 or 30 years later, based on documents, data, and interviews.

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GIJC23 – Investigating Social Media: Telegram, Twitter, & WhatsApp

This workshop might just emerge as the one that changes your life as a watchdog journalist. Misinformation and disinformation on “closed” social media networks — such as WhatsApp and Telegram – have already had devastating consequences for democratic processes in places like India, Nigeria, Russia, and Brazil.

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GIJC23 – When the Data Aren’t There: Building Your Own Datasets

Think there’s no data in your story? Create your own. Journalists can use polls, physical surveys, documents, or even monitoring devices to create their own data. We’ll give you examples of how these techniques are used and some best practices for doing it yourself. ———————– The Global Investigative Journalism Network is an international association of […]

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GIJC23 – Using Social Network Analysis for Investigations

This session will provide an overview of social network analysis, which is used to visualize and analyze such things as the connections between companies and individuals in organized crime and money laundering, the paths and progress of infections in pandemics, interlocking directorships of corporations, and the structure of terrorist organizations.


Working with Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers – insiders who expose corrupt or illegal activities – are an important source of information for journalists everywhere. From their position inside governments, companies, and other organizations, they can provide crucial leads, evidence, and sometimes “smoking guns” that expose everything from fraud and waste to criminal conspiracies and war crimes. It’s important for journalists […]

Getting Started in Investigative Journalism Methodology

Tips For Backgrounding Unknown Subjects in Time-Critical Situations

Investigative projects are often likened to marathons. But, every now and then, watchdog reporters need to sprint. In a recent IRE23 conference session, experts shared tips on how to unearth background facts about little-known people on short notice. 

Guide Resource

Asset Disclosure

Required disclosures by public officials about their income and assets can be invaluable to investigative journalists. And information about wealth and its sources can play a vital role in uncovering corruption. Official filings are often the starting point for classic follow-the-money stories. However, disclosure laws have gaps, so the public records don’t always reveal the […]

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So You Think You Can Google? – Workshop With Henk van Ess

We need to talk about Google! The world’s most popular search engine tries to please as many people as possible. But for journalists, the quality of results has rapidly declined. What is the issue and what can investigators do about it? GIJN is pleased to announce a hands-on session with search guru Henk van Ess, […]

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How to Investigate a Billion-Dollar Corporate Fraud

Once a $30 billion global bluechip financial services and tech company, Germany’s Wirecard filed for insolvency in 2021 in what is one of the biggest corporate frauds of the modern era. The tenacious and prolonged investigative reporting by the Financial Times, helped to uncover widespread fraud, malpractice and negligence. Dan McCrum, a senior Financial Times […]

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How to Investigate Elections

The state of democracy is at its lowest point in decades. Around the world, free and fair elections face growing threats from disinformation campaigns, foreign interference, voter suppression, campaign corruption, violence, intimidation, and more. Covering elections as a political “horse race” has never been enough. This approach to campaign reporting is even more inadequate today, […]

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Resources for Women Journalists – A GIJN Guide

Women and nonbinary journalists often encounter obstacles, whether they’re out reporting or when they’re back in their newsrooms. GIJN has gathered resources for those who want to connect, handle harassment, and address discrimination issues. We also provide advice and tips from great women investigative journalists that may serve as inspiration. This guide was originally published […]

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A Journalist’s Guide to Avoiding Lawsuits and Other Legal Dangers

The practice of independent journalism is facing enormous challenges, ranging from authoritarian regimes implementing regressive laws that stifle speech to journalists being unable to make a living from their work. In order to meet those challenges, journalists can benefit from understanding the protections provided by international law.


Tips for Building a Database for Investigations

Whether investigating human rights abuses, money laundering, or even public officials’ conflicts of interests, reporters are increasingly developing their own databases for investigative projects. Here are a series of tips drawn from the experiences of a number of international journalists and from the author’s personal experience gathering and creating data sets for investigative stories.

Resource Tipsheet

Investigative Journalism Manuals

Investigative Journalism Data Journalism Teaching and Training Other Useful Guides Spanish Only Looking for tips, tools, and tutorials? The below guides focus on investigative journalism and provide case studies and examples from around the world. Most are available for free, unless indicated otherwise. You can also find our guide to the guides in Chinese and […]

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GIJN’s Guide to Citizen Investigations

Citizens can investigate, and they do — all over the world. Today we’re launching a new GIJN guide to help non-journalists investigate even more. It’s full of techniques used by investigative journalists that will be helpful to citizen investigators, too. These include searching the internet, finding out who owns corporations, investigating politicians, and much more.

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Citizen Investigation Guide

Curiosity fuels investigations, and there’s no monopoly on who can be curious. Citizens can investigate, and they do. GIJN provides some great examples below. This GIJN guide aims to help non-journalists investigate even more. The sections teach the techniques used by investigative journalists.