Excellent journalism is being produced all around the world. The 11th Global Investigative Journalism Conference highlighted just a few great investigations you may not have heard of — but should.
How a Father Lost His Daughter to Islamic State (German/English, Germany)
In 2015, 15-year-old Leonora ran away from her native Germany to join the Islamic State in Syria, and was married off to a high-ranking official. For four years, Norddeutscher Rundfunk journalists Volkmar Kabisch, Britta von der Heide and Amir Musawy followed her father’s fight to save her. In a desperate bid to bring Leonora home, this baker from a small German village — who had only ever left the country once — met with smugglers from Syria and negotiated with terrorists.
Emperor of the Spy-cam Business (Korean, South Korea)
Newstapa reporters Hyein Kang and Hyunsuk Kang collaborated with another Korean outlet Sherlock to investigate Jin-ho Yang, the CEO of two of Korea’s largest online file storage companies Wedisk and Filenori. They uncovered a video of Yang slapping an employee in the face and discovered that he makes much of his profit from illegal spycam sex videos on his platform. He was arrested after the publication of the investigation and charged with assault and circulating obscene materials. He is currently awaiting trial.
Map of Hate Crimes in Argentina in 2019 (Spanish, Argentina)
Agencia Presentes, a regional news agency based in Buenos Aires, covers Latin American news about violence against LGBTQ+ people. In 2019, Presentes launched an ambitious project to map hate crimes and murders of LGBTQ+ people in Argentina. Maria Eugenia Ludueña, who attended #GIJN19, is the co-founder of the agency.
How Frank Timiș Uses UK-registered Companies to Exploit Africa’s Resources (English, United Kingdom/Senegal/Sierra Leone)
Journalists Shanna Jones, Mohamed Kabba and Michelle Madsen dug into how a Romanian-Australian businessman, Frank Timiș, got suspicious billion-dollar deals across West Africa, including an offshore gas deal with the Senegalese president’s brother. They reported that he bribed chiefs and important local figures, and benefited from personal tax breaks. They also reported on the repercussions that these deals have on regular people.
The Dutertes: Wealth Reveal and Riddles (English, Philippines)
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism published a three-part report raising questions about the wealth amassed by President Rodrigo Duterte and two of his children over the past two decades. Journalist Floreen Simon presented the investigation at #GIJC19.
Sweatshops on Wheels (English, cross-border European project)
Investigate Europe looked into how big haulage companies in the European Union employ and exploit truck drivers from low-wage countries. The drivers are often paid poorly and forced to work long hours with little rest. The journalists found contracts linking some of Europe’s biggest car makers to the business model. At least 13 media outlets took part in this investigation. Newsweek Polska‘s Wojciech Ciesla presented the investigation at #GIJC19.
Brenna Daldorph is a freelance audio producer and journalist, based in London (after growing up in Kansas and spending many years in Paris). She often works for PRI’s The World and The Guardian. Many of her stories focus on trauma and resilience among children and young people. In the past few years, she’s reported from Kenya, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria. More than anything else, she has a penchant for stories about people.