Critical, independent and investigative media is the lifeblood of any democracy – Nelson Mandela, 1992
INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AT WITS
There is a long tradition of investigative journalism in South Africa. Back in the 1950s Drum magazine was busy investigating prison and farm labour conditions; exposes of government corruption followed, then came the Vlakplaas death squads revealed by Vrye Weekblad and the financing of sectarian violence exposed by the Weekly Mail. More recently there has been the now infamous arms deal, financial scams, drunken and corrupt politicians, hospital deaths.
Wits Journalism aims to keep alive this fine tradition of South African journalism which probes, questions and exposes what those in authority want hidden.
Wits Journalism is broadening its data journalism training and the opportunities for journalists to develop their data journalism skills.
On offer is everything from the basics on using spreadsheets, databases and online mapping to the latest technological advances.
Data journalism for beginners
The best place to start is at Power Reporting
, the African Investigative Journalism Conference, from
Monday 28 October to Wednesday 30 October at Wits University.
Advanced Data Journalism
The next advanced course will held from Monday to Friday, 27-31 May 2013. You can read about the 2012 course
by one of those who took part - Jeanne van der Merwe of Media24 Investigations.
See the Timetable here
. Applications to
Study Data Journalism in the United States
Two fully-paid bursaries were available for South African journalists to attend the next annual data journalism (computer-assisted reporting) conference organised by Investigative Reporters and Editors in the United States: Thursday 28 February to Sunday 3 March 2013, in Louisville, Kentucky. The IRE CAR conference is the annual get together of all the leading data journalists in the United States, who bring to the event a range of skills and experience unique in the world. The 2013 bursaries were awarded to Anina Mumm and Media24 Investigations editor, Andrew Trench.
These bursaries are for working journalists with some data journalism experience. Further bursaries will be available in 2014 and 2015. Click here for full details and how to apply
Courses in Investigative Journalism
There are two ways of studying – by taking a Masters
or short certificate course
Investigative journalism is an option on the MA in Journalism
. The Masters consists of four modules: all students take the core course Media in Society. Those taking the investigative journalism option will take a course in essential investigative skills, including advanced internet research and basic data journalism, forensic accounting and access to information legislation. The course will cover ethics and the history of investigative journalism in South Africa (IJA). This course can also be completed as a stand-alone certificate course
. Read the course outline in full.
This course runs in the second semester of 2013.
Students also run an actual investigation into a topical subject under the supervision of an experienced investigative journalist (IJ B). Read the 2013 course outline. The next course starts on 18 February 2013.
A research project completes the Masters.
Power Reporting: The African Investigative Journalism Conference
An intensive three-day investigative journalism workshop is held in late October each year, with key speakers from around the globe and experienced journalists teaching investigative skills. Keynote speakers have included Andrew Jennings, Gunther Wallraf, Brant Houston, Sheila Coronel. Sainath Palagummi, Stephen Grey, Felicity Lawrence, John Vidal, Ken Silverstein, Heather Brooke, Tim Butcher and Ying Chan. The next conference will run from Monday to Wednesday, 28-30 October 2013. View the Power Reporting homepage for more information. There are bursaries available for SA journalism students and those who work for community newspapers.
Fellowships, grants and awards
With the support of The Valley Trust Wits Journalism runs the annual Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Journalism.
The winners of the 2011 Award are Mzilikazi wa Afrika, Stephan Hofstatter and Rob Rose of the Sunday Times for their investigation into “Mac's dodgy millions”.
The Trust's generosity also makes R350 000 available each year for grants to finance investigative projects which would not otherwise get into print.
Please research the journalism.co.za site thoroughly before asking for more information.
About course content, course eligibility, Power Reporting and the Taco Kuiper Award and Grants email
. About registration, fees and course dates contact Judi on 011 717 4028 or
Funders and Partners
The Wits Journalism Programme and the Investigative Journalism Workshop work together with:
The Valley Trust
Open Society Foundation
The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS)
The Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR)
The Global Investigative Journalism Network (GJIN)
The Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ)
The Centre for Investigative Journalism, UK (CIJ)
Investigative Reporters and Editors, USA (IRE)