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Event Reports

Journalism in times of fake news and dwindling resources

by Christoph Plate
KAS in Global Investigative Journalism Conference Johannesburg

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More than 1100 journalist and stakeholders in the media industry met by the end of November for three days in Johannesburg South Africa for the bi-annual Global Investigative Journalism Conference. The gathering, initiated by the US-based Global Investigative Journalism Network, brought together some of the foremost Investigative Journalists from Europe, Asia, Africa and America as well as many newcomers in the field who wanted to know about the techniques of investigative journalism and funding especially in these difficult times for „mudrackers“ as they call themselves.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is one of the bigger partners of the GIJC, with KAS Media Africa supporting the flights of dozens of participants from the African continent. Moreover KAS Media Africa brought five graduates of the prestigious JONA Media Academy of KAS to South Africa. The five graduates from Germany, together with their Mobile Journalism trainer Astrid Csuraji, wrote and reported about the various discussion panels they attended such as those by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz or Zimbabwean Media and Human Rights Laywer Beatrica Mtetwa to name just a few.

The JONA-journalists used social media, the website as well as short videos. The reporting of the event was done in German, English, French and Arabic as well. KAS Media Africa Director, Christoph Plate took part in discussion panels on Migration and the Media as well as the way on how to fund Investigative Journalism in modern times. To support the conference, KAS Media Asia, based in Singapore brought along almost 20 publishers and media professionals from Asia to the event.

It was evident at the conference that circumstances under which journalism exists differ greatly from country to country and from continent to continent. The American way of investigative journalism is completely diverse from that in Africa and Asia especially in the ways of acquiring funding. Moreover, quality journalism and the differing states of freedom of expression that the press enjoy - or don’t enjoy in various countries - was clearly portrayed in the various discussions. Catherine Gicheru, one of the foremost kenyan journalists put it this way: „Investigative journalism in Africa is a completely different thing, almost impossible in many cases“.

Many participants attending the GIJC observed that there was a need for self-critical assessment of ones work and its constraints as well as the need for positive stories. „Readers are tired of a daily wave of negativity, investigative journalism should also look for shining examples of something that works well“, said Christoph Plate, director of KAS Media Africa.

The next Global Conference will take place in 2019 in Hamburg, Germany.

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Christoph Plate

Christoph Plate bild

Director Media Programme Southeast Europe +359 2 942-4971 +359 2 94249-79


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