OCCRP Editor Publishes CIMA Report on Developing Journalism

 In a report this week for the Center for International Media Assistance, OCCRP Managing Editor Drew Sullivan outlined the challenges facing investigative journalists and media developers in developing democracies, from the highly specialized toolset required to conduct high-level investigative reports to the conflicting reporting cultures that exist pre- versus post-democracy. 

The report, entitled “Investigative Reporting in Emerging Democracies: Models, Challenges, and Lessons Learned,” relies on interviews with investigative journalists, donors, and media developers, as well as research into government and academic reports.

In the report, Sullivan covered the dangers journalists face in areas where legal protections are slim, or non-existent, noting that “each year, between 30 and 70 journalists are killed demonstrating the danger of this work.” He also stressed the importance of long-term grants, citing the disconnect between donors’ focus on rigid deadlines and the messy reality of investigative reporting.

The report offers methods to improve the quality and reliability of investigative journalism in challenging regions, emphasizing the importance of tailoring unique development plans to each region. It also encourages the investigative journalism community to reevaluate its aversion to government funding, since that aversion, while rational, deprives reporters of the biggest source of funding in the realm of media development.

OCCRP board member David Kaplan published an accompanying report, called "Models of Muckraking: Supporting Investigative Journalism Around the World," in which he presented strategies for independent media funders.