- News & Insight
- Projects & Grants
- Wits Journalism
- Investigative Journalism
- Wits Radio Academy
A conference for every journalist who wants to improve skills, whether its following the money, using data, telling stories, using a computer as a research tool, making a freedom of information request, knowing media law, finding sources, interviewing techniques, mapping or data visualisation.
Africa is being mined for its mineral wealth to grow the world economy. At what price? Guest speaker Jock McCulloch on Manufacturing Ignorance: Risk, Lies and Gold Mining. David Fig on the legacy of asbestos mining. And does Witbank have the ‘dirtiest air in the world’?
When Governments lie: secret weapons to Saudi Arabia, with award-winning Swedish journalist Daniel Öhman and from South Africa: The Nkandla story with team amaBungane.
Forensic accountant Raj Bairoliya with the investigative journalist’s guide to company accounts (including the book).
Tobore Ovuorie from Nigeria on the risks of going undercover with people traffickers (who also traffic organs).
New this year: the legal risks in social media, with media lawyer Dario Milo.
Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Reporting from Around the World (and that includes Africa) with Anya Schiffrin of Columbia University. Read a review.
Innovative and investigative documentaries on the web with Arnaud Dressen. See Journey to the End of Coal
A range of data journalism classes with Ron Nixon, New York Times, and Brant Houston, author of the best-selling Computer-Assisted Reporting manual. Learn the skills to map your story: Ebola: Mapping the outbreak and the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
There will be workshops on reporting the mining industry; turning your local environmental problem into global news, or your news item an investigative story; how to protect yourself – on line and in dangerous places – and how do you protect your sources. Twitter for investigations.
The China-Africa journalists’ round table on Thursday 6 November will bring together experienced African and Chinese journalists to discuss challenges and insights, plus briefing sessions to provide practical knowledge, skills and tools, based on five years’ work by the Wits China-Africa Reporting Project This event is not a part of the conference programme. Separate applications to Brigitte.firstname.lastname@example.org
*A draft programme will be posted here in early September.
Anya Schiffrin is the director of the International Media, Advocacy and Communications specialisation at Columbia University’s School of International Affairs, New York, USA. She spent 10 years working as a journalist in Europe and Asia and now writes about journalism and development as well as the media in Africa and the extractive sector. She is on the advisory board of the Open Society Foundation’s Program on Independent Journalism and of Revenue Watch Institute. Her most recent book is Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Reporting from Around the World (New Press 2014).
Brant Houston is the Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois. After working as an investigative reporter, he was for ten years executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) which now has 5,000 members. He is chair of the board of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, which spreads across 44 countries, and of the Investigative News Network, a North American consortium. Brant has also has taught investigative and computer-assisted reporting extensively around the world for the past 20 years. He has co-authored two editions of The Investigative Reporters’s Handbook and has just completed the fourth edition of his Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide.
Daniel Ohman is an investigative reporter for Swedish Radio, focusing on the environment, arms trade, trafficking and corruption. His recent book on how Sweden helped the Saudi Arabia build and develop an arms factory, Saudiweapon, is considered one of the top investigations ever in Sweden. It won several national and international awards, including the Prix Europe and the Investigative Reporters and Editors’s medal in 2013.
David Fig is a political economist and environmental and a freelance researcher and writer active on questions of environment, energy, corporate accountability and global politics. He is currently a Fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam, a research associate of the Environmental Evaluation Unit at UCT and the Society, Work and Development Institute at Wits. He sits on a national task team formed by civil society organisations on fracking in the Karoo. He has published extensively in books, academic journals, magazines and newspapers and is currently working on the social legacy of asbestos mining in South Africa.
Jock McCulloch is a Professor History at RMIT University in Australia. His main interests are in contemporary African history and the politics of health. He has done field work in Algeria, Kenya, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He is the author of a number of books including: Asbestos Blues: Labour, Capital, Physicians and the State in South Africa (2002), and South Africa’s Gold Mines and the Politics of Silicosis (2012).
Mae Azango writes for Front Page Africa and New Narratives in Liberia. Her courageous reporting on female genital cutting led to death threats against herself and her young daughter and a period in hiding. But it also forced government ministers and traditional leaders to denounce the practice and won her the 2012 International Press Freedom award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. Mae covers political and economic stories and was the first reporter to interview Liberian mercenaries who admitted to murdering civilians in Ivory Coast’s 2010 election crisis.
RonNixon is an investigative reporter for The New York Times in Washington, DC. He has taught investigative techniques and computer assisted reporting to journalists in countries around the world, including South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Senegal and Peru and is a visiting fellow at Wits Journalism. He has covered stories about the US role in the Arab Spring, the companies violating the US Iran Sanctions Act, and lobbying by former US government officials on behalf of a coup in Honduras. He is the author of the ebook Operation Blackwash: Apartheid South Africa’s 46-year Propaganda War on Black America and a Visiting Fellow at Wits Journalism.
Tobore Ovuorie is a senior investigative journalist at Premium Times Nigeria. She is a multiple-award winner who writes about public health. She recently undertook an undercover investigation into human trafficking in Nigeria. Her investigation into the supply of treated mosquito nets exposed the counterfeit syndicates involved in the net trade. She is about to complete her Ph.D in Psychology.
Registration will open in August.
* Student bursary places will be available covering transport and hotel for final year, honours and masters journalism students in South Africa.
This scheme is now closed.
Send a 500-word motivation, your CV and a note from your head of department by Monday 15 September to email@example.com.
* A bursary scheme will run for African investigative journalists – this requires a 500-word motivation, a CV and copy of published investigative work.
This scheme is not open to South African journalists or those not working in investigations.
* For South African community newspaper journalists we run a bursary scheme through the Association of Independent Publishers (AIP)
The First National Bank Building, Wits University East Campus – MAP
We use the Parktonian and the Devonshire in Braamfontein and Stay City in Berea to accommodate delegates and speakers. Transport will be organised from these hotels to the conference each day.
Power Reporting 2013
The 2013 conference is now over. It was a great conference, with lots of great speakers, everyone sharing skills and experience. Our thanks to everyone who came and everyone who made it happen. See below for links to the conference.