As Paris prepares to host the COP 21 Climate Change Conference, Reporters Without Borders is today releasing a report entitled “Hostile climate for environmental journalists” that examines the often tragic difficulties for reporters covering environmental issues.
With the environment now recognized as a major challenge for humankind, Reporters Without Borders believes that particular attention should be paid to the journalists who take greats risk to investigate sensitive, environment-related subjects.
The report highlights a steady deterioration in the situation for environmental reporters, who are increasingly exposed to many kinds of pressure, threats and violence.
“The violence against these women and men who investigate in the field, often alone, has reached an unprecedented level in 2015,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “In the COP 21 era, we need to realize that the highly sensitive nature of this subject only too often causes grave problems for those trying to shed light on pollution and other forms of environmental degradation. Their meticulous but dangerous work of gathering and disseminating information is nonetheless vital if we are to achieve the badly needed increase in awareness of the dangers threatening our planet.”
Ten environmental journalists have been murdered since 2010, according to the tally kept by Reporters Without Borders. In the past five years, almost all (90 percent) of these murders have been in South Asia (India) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Philippines and Indonesia). Two Indian reporters, Jagendra Singh and Sandeep Kothari, were killed in 2015.
Some journalists are threatened, attacked or jailed because of their reporting. At least six Peruvian journalists reported being harassed and roughed up in the spring of 2015. In Uzbekistan, freelance journalist Solidzhon Abdurakhmanov has languished in prison for the past seven years. All of these journalists investigated sensitive environmental subjects such as illegal logging, mining or pollution.
Some governments resort to censorship whenever they are blamed for environmental problems. When “Under The Dome,” an online documentary about air pollution in Beijing, went viral in March, the Chinese Communist Party quickly had it removed from websites. In Ecuador, draconian legislation prevents journalists from covering oil drilling in the Yasuni National Park, where the biological diversity is internationally recognized. In Canada, the government gagged federal scientists to prevent them talking to journalists about the drawbacks of extracting oil from tar sands.
Some environmental journalists report receiving friendly approaches from companies that are involved in projects likely to endanger the environment and resort to anything to help improve their image. Reporters in Democratic Republic of Congo said they were bribed by a British company with a concession to explore for oil in Virunga National Park that wanted to buy their silence. Canadian reporter Stephen Leahy was offered money by a Canadian mining company to stop investigating its activities.
In response to all these obstacles, more and more environmental journalists are banding together in associations that aim above all to improve the quality of their reporting but also give them the opportunity to collaborate and to be better equipped and protected when they venture into the field.
Moving a magazine is like ordering 100,000 gallons of alphabet soup, to go.
That sentence began a letter from Time magazine publisher James A. Linen at the front of the March 21, 1960 issue. The alphabet soup analogy still holds true, as does another daisy chain: a time capsule, in the form of a copper box, first buried in June, 1959 and now set to be stored at Time Inc.’s new headquarters.
According to an item by Time archive editor Lily Rothman and photo editor Lizabeth Ronk, the plan is still to ceremonially open the capsule in 2023. By that year, most if not all of the enclosed artifacts will surely seem even more outdated. Everything except, perhaps, the magazine’s beloved red pencil.
At the recent, inaugural Bahamas Press Club Awards, the Lifetime Achievement citation went to Eileen “Liz” Carron (pictured), 85-year-old editor and publisher of daily newspaper The Tribune. She’s been at the helm of the publication since 1972, when it was passed down to her by her late father Sir Etienne Dupuch. (His father, Leon, founded the paper in 1903.)
Of note from a New York perspective is the fact that in addition to being the first Bahamian to earn a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University, Carron attended the school as part of a deal made with dad. From an article in The Tribune:
Carron obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at St Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Canada, before going on to receive her Master’s in Journalism in New York and then to study Law in London. She honored the agreement with her father that she would study law – as he had wished – if he would send her to journalism school…
She is the longest current serving editor-publisher of a newspaper in the world and closing in on her father’s world record as the longest serving editor – 54 years at The Tribune. Carron joined The Tribune as editor in 1962, the same year that she became the second woman to be called to The Bahamas Bar. She was presented by her uncle, the late Eugene Dupuch, QC, after whom the law school in Nassau is named.
Carron’s father died in 1991 at age 92, while the Bahamas Press Club was formed just last year. Six others were honored at the weekend ceremony including the late Kenneth Francis, who worked his way up at the Nassau Guardian from press operator to publisher and general manager.
[Photo courtesy: The Tribune]
Although it was expected, Reporters Without Borders is appalled by a Baku appeal court's “disgraceful” decision today to uphold well-known journalist Khadija Ismayilova's seven-and-a-half-year jail sentence and calls on the international community to do everything possible to obtain her release.
The supreme court has still to examine the case but Ismayilova will now be transferred to a women's prison to begin serving the sentence she received on 1 September on trumped-up charges of tax evasion, abuse of authority, embezzlement and illegal commercial activity.
“With a script written long ago by President Ilham Aliyev, this tragicomedy continues to play out in the Azerbaijani courts,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.
“It was a political case from the outset so we call on Azerbaijan's international partners to turn to the highest government level to demand Ismayilova's release. Everyone in Azerbaijan knows that she is in prison because of her journalistic work and her human rights activism.”
Azerbaijan's leading investigative reporter, Ismayilova covered corruption at the highest level. The authorities finally arrested her in December 2014 after their many attempts to intimidate her into silence failed.
After suppressing all media pluralism, the Aliyev government has been orchestrating an unprecedented crackdown on its remaining critics for the past two years.
Eleven other journalists and bloggers are currently detained in connection with their reporting. They include Rauf Mirkadyrov, whose trial began behind closed doors on 4 November, a year and a half after his arrest. The next hearing in his trial is scheduled for 2 December.
Azerbaijan is ranked 162nd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
Photo : Azadliq Radiosu (RFE/RL)
Since The Sequoias perform just a handful of times each year, we felt it worth noting the group’s most recent gig. The rock band encompasses New Yorker editor David Remnick, magazine staff writers John Seabrook and John Colapinto, Bloomberg’s John Homans, Elle magazine writer-editor Ben Dickinson and former public radio reporter Charlie Foster.
The Nov. 13 concert at New York’s Bowery East, anchored to a book launch party for Seabrook’s The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory, was also a coming out party of sorts for lead vocalist Rebecca Donner, recently added to the Sequoias mix and by day a novelist. From the NYT write-up by Steve Kurutz:
While Mr. Remnick sang an impassioned version of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” Mr. Homans displayed an idiosyncratic style and Mr. Seabrook kept the band moderately steady all night, it was indeed Ms. Donner who brought the house down, first with a rendition of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” then by channeling all of Janis Joplin’s arm-waving and vocal theatrics to sing “Cry Baby.”
The paths of Remnick and Young have crossed before. For example, at the AllThingsD Dive Into Media conference in 2012, the New Yorker editor followed Young on stage as a speaker. And during his chat with Kara Swisher, he noted at one point that the magazine has been “around longer than Neil Young.” That it has, to the tune of 20 years (1925 vs. 1945).
Previously on FishbowlNY:
David Remnick’s Advice to Yale Students
Many home cooks, when they think of Cook’s Illustrated, think of the bow-tied, bespectacled Christopher Kimball, who founded the magazine in its current form in 1993 and went on to help build it into America’s Test Kitchen, a cooking empire with a public television show, a radio show, spinoff magazines, and hundreds of print cookbooks. It’s a brand that rode no-nonsense and nothing-fancy to an estimated $50 million-plus in revenue by 2012, and it’s had impact far beyond its 2,500-square-foot test kitchen in Brookline, Massachusetts: Mark Bittman, Pam Anderson, and J. Kenzi López-Alt all worked at Cook’s Illustrated, for instance, before becoming bestselling cookbook authors in their own right. In today’s explainer-laden Internet cooking culture, the influence of America’s Test Kitchen is clear.
So many fans were shocked last week to learn that Kimball and Boston Common Press (the privately held company that owns America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, and Cook’s Country) had failed to reach a new contract. Kimball will continue to host his PBS shows, America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country, at least through 2016, and will also remain the host of the weekly public radio show America’s Test Kitchen Radio. And he told Current that, in January, he plans to announce another project “very focused on public media.”
David Nussbaum was hired as the first-ever CEO of Boston Common Press in September. Before that, he was the CEO and publisher of F+W, a New York–based company that produces books, magazines, and digital products in niche verticals like arts and crafts and coin-collecting (it owns Writer’s Digest and Popular Woodworking magazines, among others). Nussbaum has been lauded in the publishing community for successfully tapping specific communities and for growing F+W’s e-commerce business from $6 million in 2008 to an expected $65 million in 2015.
I spoke with Nussbaum, who started his new job on October 14 and is alternating weeks between his home in New York City and in Boston, about the changes he wants to make at America’s Test Kitchen, what the company’s paywall strategy will look like going forward, and more. Below is a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited and condensed.
When you go online and look at one of our recipes on video, we give you a list of what you need to make the recipe. Now, wouldn’t it be great if you could click on the paprika and have that delivered to you? Or click on the whole package of ingredients and have it delivered to you? There are lots of interesting new ways to look at that while still honoring the very core of the business, which is independence — we’re kind of the Consumer Reports of the cooking field, and we’ll continue to honor that. But we’d like to bring this kind of content to more viewers and expanded demographics, and also facilitate the making of the recipes so that it’s a bit easier for our consumers.
Owen: Let’s talk about paywall strategy. You guys have a very strong paywall; it’s not easy to get your content without paying for it. At the same time, the paywall strategy is a little complicated. You can buy a subscription to all three sites now [for $69.95 a year], but there are still separate paid tablet editions, for instance, and it can be confusing.
Nussbaum: Before I got here, they were in the process of relaunching the sites. The first one, Cook’s Illustrated, has been relaunched. Now there’s a bit of content before the paywall, like equipment reviews and daily recipes. Cook’s Illustrated’s site is also mobile-friendly. The next site to relaunch will be the America’s Test Kitchen site, and then Cook’s Country. So we’re already in that process of giving a little bit of content before the paywall, for SEO and for traffic-building reasons and also to entice somebody to buy.
We’re going to continue having for-pay sites, but we’re putting a little bit of free content ahead of that, and we’re making the sites mobile-ready. That strategy preceded me, and it’s exactly the right strategy.
Owen: Have you thought about having links shared through social leading to free pages, for instance?
Nussbaum: Yeah. I think utilizing social more aggressively is a very big part of the roadmap. Because the company’s owners think longterm, they are very willing to invest deeply in the business. The company has 180 people right now, and we have budget to hire 25 new people in 2016, with almost all of the positions in digital and in content. A couple of those positions are social-focused executives. We also just signed an agreement to spend seven figures on building out CRM to help us get to know our customers better and do better at making targeted offers to them. The company is really very forward-thinking, and because it’s privately held, and because their view is a 40-year view, the owners are willing to invest significantly in building.
Owen: I know you said you’re launching this initiative to learn more about your customers, but I’m assuming you already have some information about them. How much overlap do you see between the digital subscribers and buyers of the print products?
Nussbaum: They tend to be different. I don’t think there’s a huge crossover. We do have a lot of information, we just want to get better at it. There are plenty of customers who do both, but it’s certainly not the majority.
Owen: Food videos are one of the top video categories on Facebook. Can you talk about specific video and mobile strategies you’re working on?
Nussbaum: We have huge amounts of content on YouTube, but until now, other than getting the content up, we haven’t done a lot of strategic thinking about the best way to manage, market, and organize on YouTube. That’s going to be an important initiative in 2016 and 2017.
It’s the same thing with Facebook: We have a lot of Facebook followers, but we can do a better job of both attracting Facebook followers, interfacing with them, and treating them in a different way so that they feel special. There’s a lot that’s going on, but I just finished my fifth week, so if you and I talk again in six months, I think you’d get much more specific answers to some of these things. I’m still in that learning phase.
Owen: In the past I might have asked you about your competition from other print cookbooks, or from sites like AllRecipes.com. But now there are these more serious home cooking sites like Serious Eats and Food52. How do you see your competition?
Nussbaum: America’s Test Kitchen is so very different. We really do view ourselves as the Consumer Reports of the recipe and cooking field. We take no advertising. The others that you mentioned are heavily advertising-based, so that’s one major way we’re different. Second, we test each recipe upwards of 50 times. Third, the rough average we spend on our recipe development is $10,000 per recipe, and I guarantee you there’s no competitor that’s even close to that. Fourth, we think about the quality of the food, the quality of the recipe, the ease for the home cook — everything we do is something you can do at home. I think those are the big differentiators.
Owen: I told my mother-in-law that I’d bring a pie to Thanksgiving and she was like, “Oh, chocolate cream?” And I was like, um, sure! So I’m assuming Cook’s Illustrated has a recipe.
Nussbaum: A really good one, I guarantee it.
Photo of a roast turkey by Annie used under a creative commons license.
“I don’t think there’s enough support for women in media from others within the industry,” Mandy Velez told me.
Velez, who was an editor at Ashton Kutcher’s digital media company A Plus and who will next week become the editorial director for news and culture at a forthcoming mobile-focused site for millennial women, is certainly not alone in voicing this worry. But she’s been able to share her experiences and seek advice from a group of other women who also hold leadership roles in digital media.
Velez and 24 other women — whose journalistic experiences run the gamut but all fall broadly under the category of “emerging leaders” in the digital journalism sphere — are part of a new program called the Women’s Leadership Academy, a tuition-free, week-long program run jointly by the Online News Association and The Poynter Institute. The curriculum for this year’s leadership training, which took place in April, was loosely structured around themes like navigating and promoting newsroom culture, managing business negotiations, and setting budgets.
Women in established leadership roles, like S. Mitra Kalita of the Los Angeles Times and Cory Haik of the Washington Post, came to speak. On the final day, participating women drew up personal “action plans” about what they would bring back to their newsrooms and apply to their own careers. Applications for a second, slightly larger class of 28 will open in January.
Discussions around leadership can sometimes be a bundle of platitudes, but the response from the program’s first participants, and their continued camaraderie in the months after the program ended, suggest that the program was genuinely helpful. The digital sphere presents challenges on top of the ones women usually face in the workplace, and the program organizers tried to assemble a small cohort (from 486 applications) that represented a wide range of ages, ethnicities, hometowns, and career trajectories.
Funding for the program comes primarily through the McClatchy Foundation, with additional funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (also a funder of Nieman Lab), Ford Foundation, and Craig Newmark (participants just cover their own travel costs; some travel stipends are available).
“A lot of the leadership skills we focused on during the sessions were standard, core, fundamental things that anybody who wants to lead within a news organization should focus on,” said Poynter’s digital innovation faculty member Katie Hawkins-Gaar. “But narrowing the group to people who are focused on digital media allowed us to spend less time on discussion topics like ‘What if my organization isn’t thinking digital first?’ and really focus on the shared experiences of being a woman in this field.”
The program intentionally uses a broader term, “emerging leaders,” in its selection criteria, Hawkins-Gaar said, because it’s interested in targeting a level of management where many women in digital media, for various reasons, feel they’re “getting stuck and not moving up.”
“Digital newsrooms move so quickly,” said ONA executive director Jane McDonnell. “In this group, we had everyone from someone who ran a startup with a few people to someone who worked at a major media company, so our themes were around topics like how you make your way through all the changes happening in technology and in digital tools, while also leading others through your piece of this world.”
“Many digital jobs are relatively new in the media industry, so we’re exploring a lot of uncharted territory,” said Masuma Ahuja, another one of the women in the first cohort. Ahuja joined CNN this fall as its social apps producer, a job that didn’t exist a few years ago. “It’s important for people looking to enter this field to approach the industry with an open and creative mind and have confidence in your thoughts about where media can go in the future.”
Many of the women said the program made them aware of instances in which they simply weren’t being included in discussions about business or content strategy. “A lot of the women said they weren’t privy to conversations about budgets — that was a really eye-opening day for everyone,” Hawkins-Gaar said. It was critical that many of the discussions were kept off-the-record, McDonnell added, so that participants could openly discuss the more sensitive issues that affected their work environments.
“While I think all media organizations should invest in this sort of training for managers, this setting provided an additional layer of support,” Rebekah Monson, co-founder of Miami-based media startup Where.By.Us and a member of the first cohort, told me. Monson applied to the Academy seeking insight on revenue models and fundraising, how to build and manage teams, and how to scale. “I think it was easier to establish trust and be candid about issues in which being a woman can be a limiting factor — particularly work-life issues, promotion, salary negotiation, hiring — because the participants and most of the faculty were women.”
The week-long trainings were useful, but the main value of the program seems to be in the virtual community it’s created for women in digital media. Much like another group of fellows we’re familiar with here at Nieman, the Women’s Leadership Academy class has stayed in touch through social media, and its members meet up frequently in person.
When she was exploring new job opportunities, Velez said, she was reminded of conversations she’d had during the program about negotiating for fair pay, which gave her “the confidence to ask for what [she] deserved.” Her class, she said, “was there throughout the entire interview process.”
“I communicate with this cohort on a regular basis,” Ahuja echoed. “They’re people I turn to for advice, for inspiration, and for friendship.”
— Rebekah ⋆ Monson (@rsm) September 27, 2015
Monson said many women in the class have taken on new jobs or roles or launched new products, and she credits the program for jumpstarting those career advancements.
“Could they have done that without this program? Probably, because these are accomplished, smart, hardworking, ambitious people,” she said. “But I think it would have been harder, for most of us, without the training and relationships we started building in that week.”
“I would encourage all newsrooms and organizations to think more strategically about how they can involve women leaders,” McDonnell said. “We were only able to pick 25 this time, and 28 for the next class. This is a drop in the ocean.”
Photo of women in conference by J. Michael Raby used under a creative commons license.
The seventh Latin American Investigative Journalism Conference ended on Monday, bringing together 150 journalists from some 15 countries in Lima, Peru.
You can track the conversation around this event on Twitter (#colpin2015) and through coverage by ClasesdePeriodismo.com (in Spanish). Among the highlights: "10 Tips for Investigating Corruption in Totalitarian Governments"; "How to Investigate Big Companies"; and interviews with journalists María O'Donnell (Argentina); Lise Olsen (United States); and Ewald Scharfenberg (Venezuela).Awards Announced
This year's Latin American Investigative Journalism Prize, awarded at the conference, went to "The White House of Enrique Peña Nieto" (Mexico).
From a total of 209 submissions (print, television, radio, and online), 37 were shortlisted. The judges decided on three winners, plus ten honorable mentions.
The judges made a special mention to oil industry investigations conducted in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago, both for their scope and their importance to the region. Veteran journalist Gustavo Gorriti. director of Peru-based IDL-Reporteros, concluded on a positive note, noting the improved quality of submissions, the increase in investigative teams in Latin America, and the thorough methodology employed. "El periodismo de investigacion se ha salvado," Gorritti declared. ("Investigative Journalism has been saved.")
The judges were: Santiago O'Donnell (Argentina); Marcelo Beraba (Brazil); Lise Olsen (United States); Gustavo Gorriti (Peru); Ewald Scharfenberg (Venezuela); Giannina Segnini (Costa Rica); and Fernando Rodrigues (Brazil).The Winners (in Spanish here)
First Place (US$15,000): The White House of Enrique Peña Nieto," an in-depth investigation by Daniel Lizarraga, Rafael Cabrera, Irving Huerta, Sebastian Barragan, and Carmen Aristegui, from Aristegui Noticias (Mexico).
The investigation revealed that the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, received an undeclared donation of a US$7-million mansion from a contractor who was favored with lucrative public contracts.
Second Place (US$10,000): "Who killed Bassil Dacosta," by Tamoa Calzadilla, Cesar Batiz, Laura Weffer, Carjuan Cruz, Cristina Gonzalez, Lisseth Boon, Airam Fernández, and Albinson Linares (several of them now former members of Cadena Capriles, a Venezuelan media company).
This series, made under harsh conditions and on deadline, identified the state agents who killed two people during a student demonstration in February 2014 in Caracas. The investigation dismantled the official version that accused the protesters, and forced the President of Venezuela to acknowledge the involvement of state security bodies in the crime.
Third Place (US$5,000): "Scandalous Purchases in the Health Sector," by Alex Flores of El Heraldo (Honduras). The investigation revealed official favoritism through direct contracts with premiums and paper companies linked to relatives of the Ministry of Health of Honduras.Honorable Mentions
- "Arrozgate," by Matias Longoni, Clarin.
- "Empire of Ashes," by Mauri Konig, formerly of newspaper Gazeta do Povo, who led a team of Diego Antonelli, Albari Rosa, Martha Soto (Colombia) and Ronny Rojas (Costa Rica).
- "Dilma and the Pasadena Refinery," by Andreza Matais, O Estado de S.Paulo.
- "The Abreu and Lima Refinery", by Jose Casado, Danielle Nogueira, Vinicius Sassine, Eduardo Bresciani, O Globo.
- "Pedophilia in Coari", by Monica Marques, Girardi Giuliana, Bruno Della Latta, Walter Nunes, José de Arimatea, Abiatar Arruda, Bruno Mauro, Claudio Guterres, Tiago Ornaghi and Bernardo Mateiros, Globo TV.
- "The Hacker Case," by Ricardo Calderón of Semana magazine.
- "Every Four Minutes a Mistreated Patient Files a Complaint in Colombia," by Ginna Morelo, Rafael Quintero, Claudia Baez, Alejandro Urueña, Juan Manuel Rios, and David Perez, El Tiempo.
- "Corruption of Three Presidents," by Efren Lemus and Carlos Dada, El Faro.
- "Secrets of the 'Teleton," by Raul Olmos, Emeequis magazine.
Trinidad and Tobago
- "The Petrotrin Case," by Camini Carajh, Trinidad Express.
The motion picture Trumbo expands nationwide today. Kirk Douglas, who bravely challenged the McCarthy-era blacklist with Spartacus and is portrayed in the film by actor Dean O’Gorman, recently welcomed USA Today West Coast entertainment editor Andrea Mandell to his Beverly Hills home to chat about the film.
From the article:
Douglas sits in a cardigan and slacks in his sun-drenched living room. “You know, I did a lot of movies with Dalton [Trumbo],” he says in good spirits though he speaks slowly (his speech has been impaired since a stroke at age 80). “They were all good.” (His favorite is 1962’s Lonely Are the Brave.)
An original copy of Trumbo’s National Book Award-winning Johnny Got His Gun has been pulled from Douglas’ shelf. The author sent it to Douglas as a token of gratitude after the actor pledged to use Trumbo’s real name on Spartacus.
Douglas, then and now (he’s 98), is truly a force of nature. He goes on to tell Mandell how he answered a letter from O’Gorman last fall, asking for advice on how to portray him.[Photo courtesy: Bleecker Street Media]
Previously on FishbowlNY:
The Power and Influence of Hedda Hopper
The 2015 edition of the State Department’s Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists had a unique twist. A half-dozen alumni from the program’s inaugural year (2006) joined Bob Woodward at the launch session in Washington D.C. to share the long-term impact of their participation. All told, 90 journalists from 80 different countries traveled across the U.S. for this year’s edition, ending their activities in New York.
As usual, a great many memorable things were spoken and heard this year. Murrow alumnus Namini Wijedasa, from Sri Lanka, told attendees “I’m a journalist because I believe in holding truth to power,” while Secretary of State John Kerry told the group “It should not be dangerous to tell the truth.” Then it was off to various J-schools:
Following their time in Washington, the journalists split up into groups according to their world region and traveled to universities in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Minnesota, New York and Oklahoma, visiting local news organizations and important cultural sites along the way. Visits to top U.S. schools of journalism are a landmark of the Murrow program, offering participants an academic perspective and chances to engage with students and professors, while developing a deeper understanding of local communities across the country.
That great second photo above shows Seba Jaafarawi of the Palestinian Territories and Hawra Mohammed from Saudi Arabia talking about social media in Raleigh, N.C. with NBC 17 news anchor Sharon Tazewell. In New York, a panel discussion featuring Vice Media co-founder Suroosh Alvi and assistant secretary for educational and cultural affairs Evan Ryan addressed the challenges of journalism in conflict zones.
FishbowlNY salutes this year’s Edward R. Murrow Program participants and wishes them well with all of their future truth-telling endeavors.
Aunque existen distintas definiciones del periodismo de investigación, entre las asociaciones de periodistas hay un consenso sobre los principales componentes: investigación sistemática, en profundidad y original, que en general implica revelar un secreto. Muchos señalan que la práctica a menudo también implica un uso intensivo de datos y registros públicos, con un enfoque en la justicia social y la rendición de cuentas.
“La Investigación a Partir de Historias”, un manual de periodismo de investigación publicado por UNESCO, lo define de la siguiente manera: "El periodismo de investigación es la tarea de revelar cuestiones encubiertas de manera deliberada, por alguien en una posición de poder, o de manera accidental, detrás de una masa caótica de datos y circunstancias que dificultan la comprensión. Es una actividad que requiere el uso de fuentes y documentos tanto públicos como secretos”. La organización holandesa-flamenca VVOJ define al periodismo de investigación simplemente como “periodismo crítico y en profundidad”.El periodismo de investigación no debe confundirse con lo que se ha denominado periodismo de filtración (leak journalism).
Algunos periodistas afirman que, de hecho, todo el periodismo es periodismo investigativo. Hay algo de verdad en esto: no sólo los periodistas investigativos que que tienen semanas para trabajar en una nota aplican técnicas de investigación, sino también periodistas especializados en su cobertura diaria. Pero el periodismo de investigación es más amplio que esto: es un conjunto de metodologías que son un arte, y es algo que se puede tardar años en dominar. Una mirada a las historias que ganan premios importantes para el periodismo de investigación da fe de los altos estándares a los que aspira la profesión: trabajos a fondo que laboriosamente siguen las pistas de saqueos de fondos públicos, abusos de poder, degradación del medio ambiente, escándalos en temas de salud, etc.
A veces llamado periodismo en profundidad, el periodismo de investigación no debe confundirse con lo que se ha denominado "periodismo de filtración" (leak journalism), primicias apresuradas obtenidas gracias a la filtración de documentos o ‘puntas’, por lo general de manos del poder político. De hecho, en las democracias emergentes, la definición puede ser bastante vaga, y las historias son a menudo etiquetadas como de periodismo de investigación sólo si son críticas o implican datos filtrados. Las historias que se centran en la delincuencia o la corrupción, o incluso simples artículos de análisis o de opinión, pueden igualmente ser mal etiquetados como periodismo de investigación.
Los entrenadores veteranos destacan que el mejor periodismo de investigación emplea una metodología cuidadosa, con fuerte dependencia de las fuentes primarias, que forman y prueban una hipótesis, y con una rigurosa comprobación de los hechos. En el diccionario se define "investigación" (en inglés) como una "investigación sistemática", que por lo general no se puede hacer en uno o dos días; ya que una búsqueda exhaustiva requiere tiempo.
Otros apuntan al papel clave del campo en crear técnicas pioneras, como por ejemplo el periodismo asistido por computadora en la década del ‘90 para el análisis de datos y visualización. "El periodismo de investigación es importante porque enseña nuevas técnicas, nuevas formas de hacer las cosas", observó Brant Houston, Knight Chair de la Cátedra de Periodismo de la Universidad de Illinois, quien se desempeñó durante años como Director Ejecutivo de Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). "Esas técnicas se funden hacia abajo en el periodismo de todos los días. Y esto eleva el estándar de toda la profesión”.
Extraído del reporte Global Investigative Journalism: Strategies for Support (Periodismo de Investigación Global: Estrategias para su Financiamiento, David E. Kaplan, Center for International Media Assistance, 2013. Kaplan es el Director Ejecutivo de la Global Investigative Journalism Network, una asociación de más de 100 organizaciones sin fines de lucro en 54 países que apoyan el periodismo de investigación.