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New edition of the Collaborative Investigative Journalism Initiative (CIJI) launched in Berlin

Tactical Tech and its "Exposing the Invisible" project are part of the second edition of the EU-funded "Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative (CIJI)" project, together with five partner organisations: Free Press Unlimited, Reporters Without Borders, Fundacja Reporterow, OBC Transeuropa and Delfi. This project extends the work of the CIJI pilot phase (2021-2022), with Tactical Tech as a coordinating partner this time.

A new edition of the Collaborative Investigative Journalism Initiative (CIJI) launched in Berlin, in 13-14 September 2023

The project

During the next two years (2023-2025), CIJI, together with media outlets and journalists across Europe, will continue strengthening the collaborative journalism ecosystem through training, resources, investigation and networking opportunities.

The investigative journalism community has proven its ability to uncover and produce impactful and innovative stories on the world’s most dire challenges. Media and journalists make a difference with their investigative journalism work, a power that may now be more necessary than ever. Meanwhile, the community faces increasing safety, financial and logistical challenges that calls for urgent action. Because of this, we are delighted to announce the continuation of the Collaborative Investigative Journalism Initiative (CIJI) and its new plan of activities that will take place between 2023 and 2025.

The project partners, Delfi, Free Press Unlimited (FPU), Fundacja Reporterow (FR), OBC Transeuropa (OBCT), Reporters Without Borders  (RSF), and Tactical Tech (TT) met in Berlin on September 13th and 14th to kick-off the second iteration of CIJI, embarking on a strategic planning session for the next two years. Through resources, training, innovative networking infrastructure and standards-based methods, CIJI will continue collaborating closely with independent media outlets and individual media actors to achieve our main goal: to fortify the collaborative journalism ecosystem.

By advancing collaboration practices and nurturing the exchange of knowledge among media and journalists spanning from the Baltics to Central-Eastern  Europe and further south into Southeast and Southern Europe, CIJI aims to promote high-quality, ethical and accountable collaborative and investigative journalism.

The project will also focus on supporting and connecting journalists in exile and refugee journalists from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia to media and practitioners from Central Europe to increase capacity and strengthen the journalistic landscape along the whole eastern European borders. CIJI will expand the resources developed in the first project iteration, including investigation guides, training curricula, audio-visual material and more, with the aim of including more topics, methods and further adaptation to at least 15  languages.

Through its partnership-driven and collaborative approach to content creation and skills-sharing, CIJI is designed to support local ownership and ensure the longer-term sustainability of the action.

  • “The project activities have strengthened our regional Visegrad network. We have succeeded in raising the profile of investigative journalism in our region by building permanent cross-border cooperation on investigative journalism published regularly on VSquare.com. Reporters’ Foundation - thanks to networking during CIJI - became an associate member of The European Data Journalism Network (EDJNet), which opened up new spaces for collaboration.” - Aleksandra Rutkowska, Head of Communications at Fundacja Reporterów. 

CIJI history and impact

In the past two years (2021-2022), CIJI, carried out by Tactical Tech, Free Press Unlimited and Reporters Without Borders, fostered the growth of networks and media hubs in Europe through the identification and support of three regional hubs in the Baltic region (through Re:Baltica), South Eastern Europe (through OBC Transeuropa) and the Visegrad region (through Fundacja Reporterów). These hubs supported peer-to-peer cross-border journalistic collaborations, contributed to the sharing of best practices, and built the capacity of media actors to practice high-quality, ethical and accountable collaborative and investigative journalism. Two of these hubs (OBC Transeuropa and Fundacja Reporterów) are now partners in the second iteration of CIJI, alongside a new additional partner, Delfi.

  • “CIJI has made us more aware of the crucial role we can play as a hub  for cross-border collaborative journalism in South Eastern Europe. We  also benefited from the training opportunities, both by developing our  potential as trainers and by gaining new knowledge as trainees. CIJI was  also a great opportunity for networking, leading to new collaborations  with people and organisations we met during the project.We were  able to involve dozens of journalists in the region in the networking  and training opportunities. This helped them to strengthen their skills  and create new opportunities for transnational collaboration. This was  particularly evident for those who successfully applied for the  collaborative reporting grants.” - Federico Caruso, Journalist and Researcher at OBCT.

In total, CIJI has supported media and journalists in 10 target countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Italy, Spain). Over 400 investigators attended the events and training sessions that covered topics such as Collaborative Journalism Best-Practices, Digital & Physical Safety and Security for Investigators, Open-source Intelligence Methods, Fact-checking Cross-border Stories, Investigating Disinformation Networks, Working with International Investigative Networks, SLAPP and Smear Campaigns. In addition, the project trained 30 experienced journalists and media researchers to become trainers and help strengthen the capacity of additional media organisations and journalists at the local level.

A new call for CIJI media hubs

CIJI is now launching an open call for applications for the selection of three new regional media hubs, as part of the Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative (CIJI). 

This project is co-funded by the European Union. 

Disclaimer:

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.