By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network
NEW YORK, 12 June 2023 (IDN) — A select group of investigative reporters from the global South will be recognized this year for outstanding work at the 11th Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, from September 19-22.
Their prize, the Shining Light Award, honors journalists whose work was done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions.
The finalists were selected by an international panel of judges out of a record 291 projects. The Global Investigative Journalism Network is an association of 182 organizations in 77 countries.
Among the finalists are Viewfinder (South Africa) with “Above the Law”. A multi-year investigative series reveals a brazen lack of accountability by South African police officers implicated in such crimes as rape, torture, assault, and even murder—as well as a system that enables rogue cops to reoffend. It also held individuals to account, despite the constant risk of reprisal.
Viewfinder—a tiny nonprofit news organization—also created a unique, easily searchable public database of tens of thousands of registered complaints about police misconduct. Said one judge: “There was very intense reporting, and the storytelling is good, and, in every couple of sentences, you see a link to evidence the reporter provides—all kinds of documents.”
Africa Uncensored – (South Sudan) with “The Profiteers”. A three-part documentary shines a light on how certain members of South Sudan’s elite profited from the civil war and plundered their nation, all the while investing in Kenya and other East African countries. The investigation shows how these individuals move funds and obtain weapons with support from government and military officials, businesspeople, and financial institutions in neighboring countries.
BBC Africa Eye (Nigeria) with “The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara”. Every few years, a piece of journalism emerges that reveals an entire, largely hidden world—and one that should deeply concern the world outside. In a two year-long investigation that involved stunning bravery, BBC Africa Eye exposed the pervasive conflict and banditry that has engulfed Nigeria’s northwestern state of Zamfara.
It also showed the motives and causes of a conflict that killed hundreds of people in 2022, and which has displaced hundreds of thousands more. The reporting made use of unique access to warlords and victims gained by Yusuf Anka, a Nigerian reporter working solo who crossed dangerous roads by motorcycle to get to equally dangerous interviews.
Category winners will receive an honorary plaque, a $2,500 cash award, and a trip to the event in Sweden’s historic second city to accept the prize. [IDN-InDepthNews]
Photo credit: Yusuf Anka (@ankaboy) / Twitter
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