Research: “Challenges Confronting Investigative Journalism in Saudi Arabia”

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

Ali Almania, a lecturer at Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University and journalist at Riyadh Newspaper, researched the state of Saudi Arabian investigative journalism in the context of how journalism changed after the Arab Spring. Legal, political and professional restrictions on journalism make it hard to do investigative projects. The rise of social media, however, seems to have given journalists more freedom.

“The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges confronting investigative journalists in Saudi Arabia. As a result of the prevailing political system, the gatekeepers of the Saudi news media have imposed legal restrictions on investigative journalism. This study considers whether the political changes that are taking place in some Arab countries after the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ in 2010 have led to more or less investigative reporting. Semi-structured interviews were held with three Saudi newspapers’ editors in chief, who were asked about their criteria for accepting or rejecting investigative stories.”

Research: “Raking Muck and Raising Funds – Capacity Development Strategies for the Future of Investigative Journalism in the Global South”

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

In “Raking Muck and Raising Funds,” Nadine Jurrat and her colleagues from Deutsche Welle look at the state of investigative journalism in the Global South and take away lessons on how to run an investigative newsroom and promote investigative journalism.

“In a rapidly evolving technological environment, investigative outlets today face a double challenge: They need to maintain their independence, while also securing their finances. Apart from investigative media outlets and journalists themselves, those who act in support of investigative journalism also need to find answers here: journalism schools need to reconsider how to best prepare young journalists; donors and civil society organizations that fund investigative work need to review their strategies. And the same holds true for international media development organizations which run programs to support media viability, especially in developing countries.”

Lightning Round Talks Offer Tips on Teaching Data Journalism

During the Academic Track Lightning Round on Saturday, Nov. 18th, 10 professors and trainers based in countries all over the globe offered tips and techniques on teaching data journalism.

Data Journalism Lecturer Pinar Dag works at Kidar Has University in Turkey. She started her presentation with advice on how to adjust lectures to the audience. When teaching engineers, for example, an instructor might need a separate dataset more pertinent to that profession.

Associate Professor and investigative journalist Jeff Kelly Lowenstein from the U.S. talked about the kind of dataset that is most popular among his students: food inspections.

University of Illinois professor Brant Houston and author of four editions  of “Computer-Asssisted Reporting: A Practical Guide,” started his presentation by explaining the usefulness of data in journalism.

Crina Boros is a data journalist at the Thomson Reuters Foundation in London. She also works as a freelance trainer for organizations such as the BBC and Greenpeace. Boros’ presentation focused on what can go wrong during training and how to approach various kinds of students.

Jennifer LaFleur is data editor at the Investigative Reporting Workshop in Washington D.C. and became the first full-time training director for the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting in 1994. Her presentation focused on using two tools, Microsoft Excel and SQL (Structured Query Language), to teach data analysis.

Social Media, Video Storytelling and Capacity Building

During Friday’s academic panel, DW Akademie Project Manager Nadine Jurrat shared her findings on capacity development strategies for investigative journalism in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In Sri Lanka, outlets show political affiliation, reporters are not always safe, and there is a lack of support for investigative and multimedia journalism. During Friday’s panel, however, M.C. Rasmin said that his home country has many opportunities for investigative video storytelling.

Sarah Findlay, the program coordinator of MMA’s policy unit, shared the results of MMA research into how newsrooms in South Africa have been affected by digital technology and social media.

Investigative Journalism in Mauritius, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia

Western-based journalists often advise fellow journalists to be fearless when researching and reporting. In Africa and the Middle-East, where journalists face totalitarian regimes and physical threats, the situation is more complex.

At the academic track on Saturday, Azhagan Chenganna from Mauritius, George Nsorani Mwita from Tanzania, and Ali Almania, a lecturer at Saudi Arabia’s Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn University, gave presentations on the challenges investigative reporters face in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

From Classroom to Newsroom: Teaching Investigative Journalism

A supergroup of GIJN founders, veteran reporters and educators brought their experience to the table at the academic track’s last panel at #GIJC17, Teaching Investigative Journalism: Best Practices. All speakers had experience as reporters as well as educators and helped found investigative centers, newsrooms and groups in the US, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latvia.

Creating Effective University Investigative Centers

Educators and veteran reporters presented different models for investigative journalism centers based at universities on Friday’s academic panel at #GIJC17 in Johannesburg this week. American University’s Charles Lewis and Columbia’s Sheila Coronel discussed different approaches at their US-based centers, while educators from Waseda University explained how their newly-founded center answers a need for investigative journalism in Japan.

Tips on Teaching Data and Investigative Journalism

Investigative journalism and data skills training differs depending on the country in which it is being taught. During the first academic track panel, presenters from four different countries shared methods for teaching investigative journalism and presented research on the pitfalls and benefits of using data.

Yasmine Bahrani teaches at the American University of Dubai, Paulette Desormeaux Parra is a teacher at the Universidad Católica de Chile in Peru, Laurence Dierickx is researching for a PhD at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and Milagros Salazar works for Convoca, a Peru-based investigative journalism organization.

GIJC17 Academic Track

We are pleased to announce that the academic track for the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 in Johannesburg is online.

Click here to view the GIJC17 academic track

GIJN and IJEC coordinated the presentations and we are excited about the research that will be presented this year. The academic track will feature journalism professors and academics from all over the world.

Call for Papers: Academic Research track at GIJC17 (Closed)

Investigative and Computer-Assisted Reporting Pedagogical Skills and Techniques

To be presented at the 2017 Global Investigative Journalism Conference at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This is a call for submission of abstracts by May 15, 2017, of no more than 300 words for a short paper and panel presentation at Global Investigative Journalism Conference. Abstracts and papers should be sent to research.papers@gijn.org.

Decisions will be made by June 15, 2017.
Final papers will be due Sept. 15, 2017.

The papers will be compiled in a digital publication for the conference and accepted proposals and presenters will receive invitations to attend to the conference.