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.”

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.”

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.

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.