Research: A Review of Studies Shows Increasing Online Threats to Female Journalists

While the U.S. journalism and its media community have been shocked by the murders of the newsroom staff of the Capital-Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, the attacks were the latest manifestation of the growing violence, harassment and hostility toward U.S. and international journalists.

This research tracks the studies, causes and commentary on the prevalence and rise of the threats, and the connections to social media and the current political environment.

Research: “TPA: A Successful Method of Teaching Top-Notch Investigative Journalism”

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

Paulette Desormeaux Parra discusses TPA, a teaching method she developed in Chile based on her own experience as a reporter and what she learned at the academic track of the 2015 Global Investigative Journalism Conference.

“This article examines an innovative method that has proved to be consistently successful at teaching investigative journalism to undergraduates in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. With a practical approach to knowledge and learning, this method of teaching has enabled students to systematically produce relevant investigative journalism stories, focusing on data, access to open sources and Freedom of Information Act requests.”

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.”