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Concordia University’s Institute for Investigative Journalism joins Global Investigative Journalism Network

October 30, 2020
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By Taylor Tower

20200604-loyola-campus-003_1920x1280 Patti Sonntag: “We are excited about the opportunity to share ideas, datasets and tools we develop with Investigative journalists around the world."

The Institute for Investigative Journalism at Concordia University is among 20 new member organizations from 14 countries accepted into the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) this year.

Founded in 2003, the GIJN is an international association of journalism organizations that support the training and sharing of information among investigative and data journalists with particular attention paid to those from repressive regimes and marginalized communities.

“This is an important milestone for the Institute for Investigative Journalism,” says Patti Sonntag, director of the IIJ.

“We are excited about the opportunity to share ideas, datasets and tools we develop with Investigative journalists around the world,” she adds.

GIJN is open to nonprofits, NGOs and educational organizations, or their equivalent, that actively work in support of investigative reporting and related data journalism.

Launched in June 2018, Concordia’s Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIJ) is the first of its kind in Canada, connecting major media outlets with journalism students and faculty from across the country to carry out investigations in the public interest.

The IIJ has facilitated four investigations to date. One of the latest, Project Pandemic: Canada Reports on COVID-19, launched April 1, 2020 with the support of journalism schools nationwide, the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and Esri Canada. The project provides free reporting and hyperlocal maps that track COVID-19 infections to news organizations with the aim of assisting reporters and their communities in underserved areas.

“We welcomed 10 Investigative Reporting Fellows to this project and others for 2020-2021 through our fellowship program, which was established in 2018,” says Sonntag.

“These students and recent graduates come from Concordia and our university partners and help gather information in support of member news organizations. It is an invaluable experience for all of us.”

The IIJ’s previous investigative projects include The Price of Oil, which uncovered previously unreported toxic emissions from oil and gas facilities in Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The second project, Tainted H₂O, looked at lead levels in potable water across Canada. It involved more than 120 reporters, editors, students and faculty members and 10 partner media companies, making it the largest collaborative investigation in Canadian history. Findings from this investigation prompted municipal and provincial governments to address the matter.

The Rossy Foundation is the founding supporter of the Institute for Investigative Journalism.

Learn more about the Institute for Investigative Journalism.



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