Honoring Brazilian journalists, Abraji prepares for 2013 global investigative journalism meeting

By Isabela Fraga

It is no coincidence: the same year that the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji in Portuguese) celebrated its 10 year anniversary, investigative journalist Tim Lopes received posthumously several honors on the 10-year anniversary of his killing. One of these honors was given by Abraji, during a solemn session that took place during the 7th International Congress on Investigative Journalism, which ended on Saturday, July 14, in Sao Paulo.

In the end, the killing of Lopes, which occurred in July of 2002 while the journalist was doing a report about child prostitution in a favela, or slum, in Rio de Janeiro, brought up reflections about the safety of Brazilian journalists, which later lead to the creation of Abraji in December of that year. Aside from Lopes, Abraji also honored journalist Jânio de Freitas, columnist for the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, who turned 80 years old in 2012. As Abraji's president, Marcelo Moreira said, journalists Lopes and Freitas were honored for always working toward press freedom in Brazil.

If Lopes was remembered for his investigative journalist spirit, which cannot be fulfilled without safety and protection, Freitas was honored for "revolutionizing the way of practicing journalism in Brazil," said Moreira. Leader of the celebrated Brazilian newspaper renovation during the 1950's, which was reproduced in several newspapers during the following years, Freitas is also known for reporting that produced impacts, such as reporting about corruption in public bidding for the construction of the Norte-Sul railroad that connects the city of Brasília to the state of Maranhão.

The 7th International Congress on Investigative Journalism, organized by Abraji, took place in Sao Paulo from July 12-14, 2012, and included 632 registered participants from 25 Brazilian states, Mozambique, and Argentina. and had about 130 speakers and almost 90 activities. The 2012 congress was a type of preparation for the 2013 encounter, which, aside from the International Congress on Investigative Journalism by Abraji, will also include the Global Investigative Journalism Conference and the Latin American Conference on Investigative Journalism, organized by the Press and Society Institute in Peru.

Taking place on Oct. 12-14, 2013, in the Pontíficia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, the world meeting will be the largest Investigative journalism conference to take place in Latin America.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.