Seasons Greetings from the CIJ Team
Dear CIJ Family and Friends
This year has been both very successful and very sad for the CIJ.
We held our second CIJ Logan Symposium in March for an audience of over 700 in the centre of Berlin, which was a great success; our annual #CIJSummer Conference attracted record numbers of delegates; we started training citizen journalists across the UK and our volunteers and trainees used the skills they learned at the CIJ to turn them into successful stories, projects and journalism jobs!
But it was a very sad year for us, too. Our founder-director and fearless leader, Gavin MacFadyen, died of lung cancer in October. It is a huge loss to us and to the many colleagues and students whose lives he touched across three continents. We said an emotional goodbye during the memorial celebration of Gavin’s life in December at Goldsmiths University. The evening was not only the story of an extraordinary life but also a call to action. We asked for ideas for future investigations from the audience and some of these story ideas will be posted on our website to be taken up by future interns and researchers next year. We also announced the Gavin MacFadyen Annual Investigation to be conducted in conjunction with Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths University. The Whistler, a whistleblower support group founded by Eileen Chubb and Gavin, also announced The Gavin MacFadyen Award to be given to journalists or publishers who have helped whistleblowers expose the truth.
This month we also received news from the US of another tragic loss. Our loyal trainer, the fantastic data journalist and CIJ’s dear friend David Donald died of cancer in December. David’s legacy of pioneering work and loyal support for CIJ training initiatives over the past years leaves us with a solid foundation for future training programmes and inspiration for using data to hold the powerful to account. We send our deepest sympathies to his family.
Looking ahead to 2017 the CIJ has many exciting plans. The #CIJSummer Conference will again take place in July 2017 and the Logan Symposium is coming back to London in the autumn. Both events will be held at Goldsmiths, University of London, our home for the last three years. We welcome further collaborations and engagement with researchers and interns from across departments at Goldsmiths.
We will continue to broaden our training for citizen journalists across the UK, with a conference scheduled for the beginning of April. We will be training in Brighton, Manchester, Belfast and London at the beginning of next year.
More courses, public talks and collaborations are planned, including #CIJTalks speakers from around the world, including Chris Woods from Airwars and Sarah Harrison from WikiLeaks.
As we say goodbye to 2016, we are supported by the strong ecosystem and international network of courageous colleagues and funders that Gavin built around the CIJ. With the advent of Donald Trump in the US, and the rise of the far-right in Europe, investigative fact-based journalism is needed more now than ever. The CIJ has always been brave in allying itself with those under attack from powerful state and corporate actors, and in these new and uncertain times, we will continue to put our head above the parapet. We will make sure that the tools for investigating and exposing wrongdoing remain accessible to civil society and the media. We will also take forward our history of providing operational security to journalists, activists, lawyers and artists in these most depressing of times for civil liberties and privacy.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. We are looking forward to renewing and taking forward our many relationships and alliances into the New Year.
See you in 2017!
The CIJ Team and Board of Trustees.