Over 1,200 investigative journalists from 130 countries are in Johannesburg, South Africa to attend the 10th Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC).
The Conference which is holding at the University of Witwatersrand will be for five days and is expected to have 280 speakers and over 100 sessions.
Declaring the Conference open on Thursday, the Executive Director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), David Kaplan said that despite the growing threats, lawsuits, lack of support and corrupt owners of media outfits, the ranks of investigative reporters continues growing.
He added investigative reporters are determined and courageous in ensuring that even the most powerful individuals and organizations are called to account stating that this should encourage hope.
“We have more investigative reporters in more places working with better tools and better networks than ever.”
He said that investigative journalists are on the right side of history as they have continually ensured that the politicians and autocrats remain accountable to the people.
Kaplan further said that the conference, which is the first in Africa, is designed towards encouraging the participants network, collaborate, learn new things with the emphasis on training and sharing.
Giving a welcome remark, Chief Executive Officer PRIMEDIA, Roger Jardine charged giant philanthropists on the need to support the course of investigations globally.
Such support, according to him, will go a long way to strengthen journalists in the face of repressive attacks as well as stabilise press freedom.
“In South Africa we have seen a lot of shifts. Some societies are defending freedom press. I want to call on philanthropic foundations that our democracies around the world depend more than ever on the work that you do.
“It is very encouraging here because often times when media is under attack and investigative journalists are being hunted and hounded, it is often media owners and journalists showing some interest. I encourage everyone whether you are a journalist in mexico, or in Switzerland exposing the wrong doing of the bank, or in South Africa facing intimidation, this conference is a great platform because investigative journalism will thrive only on global cooperation and influence,”Jardine stated.