A breath of life for investigative journalsim

A breath of life for investigative journalsim

The Internet and social media have opened the door to more sources of information and better financing for investigative journalism, says Gavin MacFadyen.

The world-renowned authority on investigative reporting adds that there is a wealth of information that can be gleaned from public databases and the new generation of digital content archives.

“The single largest area of investigate journalism now is from government databases and this means anyone and anywhere can do it,” MacFadyen says.

MacFadyen, a journalist for 30 years and the director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London, said this to the 33 participants of the Baltic Youth in the 21st Century: Debating and Producing Media camp in Sigulda, Latvia where he was a guest speaker on Aug 16.

He says that investigative journalism, long in decline across America, Europe and the United Kingdom, is slowly regaining its central role in safeguarding the public interest, as writers become increasingly able to access funding through crowdsourcing and from non-governmental organisations.

“NGOs are now the single largest employers in the world for investigative journalism, and many more investigative journalists are publishing books” says the former producer-director at Granada Television’s World in Action, Channel 4’s Dispatches, BBC documentaries and current affairs, PBS, Frontline and ABC.

The Youth in the 21st Century debate and media camps are a two-week programme for students, aspiring journalists, debaters and activists aged between 18 and 29. So far this year, IDEA has run debate and media camps in Armenia, the Phillipines and Kyrgyzstan.

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