Research: “Challenges in doing investigative reporting: A Zambian case study”

This is a research paper that was accepted for but not presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

Twange Kasoma of Radford University and Greg Pitts of Middle Tennessee State explain the complex political situation of Zambian media and the challenges this creates for investigative reporting.

“Raphael (2005) is blunt when noting that, “Investigative journalism will not survive without sustaining the web of relationships with government that ensures that this more important kind of news for democracy is funded, distributed, and protected from extinction…” (2015, p. 245). This paper examines the state of investigative reporting in Zambia through a series of in-depth interviews with working journalists and editors.”

Research: “Investigative open data journalism in Russia: actors, barriers and challenges”

This is a research paper that was accepted but not presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

Anastasia Valeeva from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford researched the culture of data reporting in Russian investigative outlets through interviews, case studies and qualitative content analysis.

“In this study, I wanted to show how open data is used for investigative storytelling in Russia, and what are the barriers that prevent journalists from embracing it. To answer these questions, the study draws on a combination of semi-structured interviews with investigative journalists and open data experts, case studies, and qualitative content analysis. In the final section, I discuss the existing barriers and provide guidelines on how to make investigative data journalism stronger in Russia.”

Research: “Challenges of doing investigative journalism in Tanzania: How do you swim with sharks without being swallowed?”

This is a research paper that was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

Guided by the media watchdog theory of Lichtenberg, George Mwita analyses the challenges investigative journalism faces in Tanzania and proposes solutions.

“This research paper aims to identify and document the challenges – ‘Sharks’ facing investigative journalists in Tanzania and probable mitigation strategies ‘Ways to swim with the sharks’ as we focus in conducting journalism that involves not just relaying information but entails an in-depth research, using impact-driven approach in order to reach accurate conclusions that are unbiased and untainted by the beliefs or views of the investigative reporter.”

Research: “Investigative Journalism in Sri Lanka: A study on the process and effectiveness of investigative video storytelling”

This is a research paper that was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

In this paper, M. C. Rasmin, Director of the Sri Lanka Development Journalist Forum; Dr. S. Raguram, University of Jaffna; and Mohamed Azad, Country Manager, IWPR, Sri Lanka provide an overview of investigative journalism in Sri Lanka. As a case study they look at a community-centered video investigative project.

“Investigative journalism in its true sense plays a key role in maintaining accountability and transparency on issues affecting people in general. The recent studies conducted by International Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR, 2017), International Research Exchange Board (IREX, 2017,) International Media Support (IMS, 2017) and Free Media Movement (FMM) observed that investigative journalism in Sri Lanka is growing slowly while facing a systemic challenge, as a result of weak media pluralism, lack of editorial independence, political and commercial orientation of media ownership, insecurity, impunity and a lack of enabling policy environment etc.”

Research: “Graph my Tender”

This is a research paper that was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

Adriana Homolova highlights problems with public procurement and the allotment of government contracts in the Netherlands and Slovakia by using network visualizations.

“This paper explores the differences between these manifestations of red flags of corruption in similar public spending markets in Slovakia and The Netherlands using network (graph) visualization. Given the complexity of spending data, visualizing the interaction between companies and public bodies as networks provides a quick and more approachable way on how to spot red flags. These methods could aid in finding new directions and practices to uncover corruption on a more structural basis and help journalists to find Ariadne’s thread in the maze of public spending markets.”

Research: “The Vast and the Curious: teaching investigative journalism in a diverse Dubai”

This is a research paper that was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

Yasmine Bahrani and Bradley Freeman from the American University in Dubai present research on teaching investigative reporting to international students in the Middle East and find that Western and Islamic values can come together in investigative journalism.

“What the paper sets out to do is to explain how AUD teaches, in English and in Arabic, investigative journalism in a place like Dubai where challenges include the country’s respect for privacy, and the absence of a tradition of access to a subject’s personal, residential, and work history or filling out Freedom of Information Act forms – matters that are readily available in the West. AUD professors apply what are believed to be universal practices in journalism. The students are offered the chance to know and understand Western-style journalism, but they often  end up practicing a more hybridized model, which incorporates aspects form their background and upbringing.”

Research: “The more things change, the more they stay the same: The impacts of social media and digital technology on journalism quality in South African newsrooms”

This is a research paper that was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

In a paper for Media Monitoring Africa, Sarah Findlay and her colleagues dive into the state of investigative journalism in South Africa. While online and social media developments provide a more democratic platform for news, old dominant voices and narratives still reign in the news.

“While we continue to grapple with how the processes of news production are changing in the era of digital journalism, what is of even greater significance is how these changes impact journalistic quality. In addition, the ongoing revenue crises experienced by many media houses has meant that one of the few ways to ensure quality investigative journalism is by setting up dedicated investigative journalism units. What does this model mean for existing newsrooms? How has social media and digital technology impacted on newsmaking processes and how have they affected the efficacy and potential for in-depth investigative reporting? We undertook to study the changes to newsrooms brought about by the digital revolution and to understand how these shifts were affecting the quality of news and journalism being produced. We conducted in-depth interviews at three South African newsrooms and examined the media coverage of two critical events over a seven-month period. The research shows that despite diverse media being monitored, common narratives emerged about who was to blame for particular issues.”

Research: “News bot for the newsroom: how building data quality indicators can support journalistic projects relying on real-time open data”

This is a research paper that was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

Laurence Dierickx from the Université Libre de Bruxelles compares quality assessment models for data and their journalistic implications. Utilizing these models, she analyzes the data quality of a case study, namely an automated news generator that is based on air quality data.

“This paper proposes a conceptual framework to assess data quality with a combination of deterministic and empirical quality indicators. If data quality is a multidimensional concept, the object is here to establish how to fit the needs of journalistic projects. Formal quality indicators are essentials when data are collected and/or automated. We can call it the technical challenge. Empirical indicators are also essentials regarding professional practices. We can call it the journalistic challenge. This part of the paper also demonstrates how and why data quality literacy is able to meet and to support journalistic requirements.”

Research: “Data-driven journalism: Visualizing the lie versus revealing the truth”

This is a research paper that was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

University professor and database journalism specialist Milagros Salazar researches the role of data in journalism, its potentials and limits.

“Journalism is full of data, but not everything is data journalism. There is a difference between using data and establishing a methodology in journalistic research that has, as a fundamental aspect, the organization, analysis and verification of data to find a real story.

But data alone are not enough. It is important to verify them and put a human face on them in order to find a real story to tell your audience. If data are not tested against the situation “on the ground”, there is a danger that they will show us lies, instead of helping us tell the truth in order to help people take better decisions for their lives.”

Research: “Investigative journalism in the post-truth era: Views from Mauritius”

This is a research paper that was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 Academic Track, which IJEC organized and covered.

University of Mauritius’ Azhagan Chenganna considers the challenges of investigative reporting in Mauritius, where there is no freedom of information and where journalists often dependent on leaks that are hard to verify in the noisy age of digital news.

“Journalism, investigative journalism in particular, is undergoing major change. This paper focuses on the investigative journalism culture in Mauritius and more broadly on the challenges of investigative journalism in the post-truth era in Mauritius. With the emergence of social media and the phenomenon of an amplification of news sources, investigative journalists are often solicited and obtain information from many sources including hackers and leakers. In Mauritius, leaked documents including electronic and secretly recorded materials have recently constituted the backbone of investigative stories.”