Photo: Mark Lee Hunter (facing camera) with co-panelists Laurent Richard, Chloe Salles and Delphine Rueter. Photo by Nicolas Fagot Studio 9.

In July I attended the 5th World Journalism Education Congress, held in Paris. Yes, the croissants and bon bons were amazing – but what really caught my attention was the investigative buzz in the air. It seemed that at every session people were talking about investigative journalism and the power of collaboration. 

It’s not surprising, given the success of projects like the Panama Papers, which linked journalists and public watchdogs across borders for the common purpose of uncovering secret bank accounts owned by tax-dodging tycoons. The project, carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, resulted in $US 1.28 billion being recovered by governments around the world.   

How to connect journalism schools to the world of collaborative investigations was a hot topic. 

“A lot of journalism schools think investigative journalism is the icing on the cake. I think it is the cake,” said Mark Lee Hunter, director of Future Media Management at the School of Economics in Riga, Latvia, and a founder of the Global Investigative Journalism Network. 

“Investigation is not downsizing. Investigation is expanding,” he said, likening the phenomenon to disruptive technology. “It keeps invading new niches. It empowers student careers.”

If you’re interested in learning more, I wrote an article about it for J-Source.

The Future of Journalism Education? Investigation. J-Source Aug. 27.