"World Cup of Investigative Journalism" begins in Rio with more than 1,000 participants from around the world

More than 1,000 journalists from 80 different countries have gathered at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro for the Global Investigative Journalism Conference.

The event, which University of Texas professor and Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas founder Rosental Calmon Alves has nicknamed the "World Cup of Investigative Journalism," can already be considered the largest conference on the topic to date, according to the director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), David Kaplan.

The conference will have 140 panels and workshops, 240 speakers and more than 200 hours of activities. The opening panel was led by one of the founders of the Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association (Abraji) Fernando Rodrigues, and the directors of the host organizations: Abraji's Marcelo Moreira, GIJN's Kaplan and Augusto Alvarez Rodrich, president of the Press and Society Institute (IPYS).

Many of you come from far away places, South Africa, China, Ireland, New Zealand. We're going to have new things like a Hackfest that will offer $7,000 to the best app for journalistic investigations, we have the best data journalism trainers in the world and you will have the opportunity to learn about several tools for your reporting. Take advantage of it," Kaplan said.

Alvarez Rodrich underscored the importance for journalists to share their experiences with each other. "Investigative journalism is changing and faces new obstacles. In this context, we need investigative journalists with more and more abilities and training. It's fundamental to share knowledge and the different experiences in Latin America and the world," he said.

Topics like covering the environment, corruption and sports, the state of freedom of the press around the world, financing alternatives for investigative and public interest journalism, the coverage of the June protests in Rio de Janeiro and data journalism will be discussed during the four days of the event.

"Witnessing history is a priviledge, but it's not an easy mission. The press was harshly criticized during the protests in the streets (of Brazil) and, ironically, it has been the one leading the vindication of the protesters. The Internet gains strength in this context, the spaces where information is shared are being fought for. Is it possible that our news-making model is becoming outdated? Are international media outlets going through a crisis? It is pertinent for us to understand now the process we're living through and here we have a privileged space for doing that," Moreira said.

The Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which has gathered under the same roof Abraji's Eighth Conference, the Eighth Global Investigative Journalism Conference and the Fifth Latin American Investigative Journalism Conference (COLPIN), will go on until Oct. 15. Click here to read the full program.

*This story was originally published at the official site of the Global Investigative Journalism Conference.

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.

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