A panel of experts from the press, government, and academia discuss their new and upcoming projects. They discuss different methods of promoting investigative journalism, ranging from building non-profit institutions to converting the country of Iceland into a "free press haven."
The panel features Gavin MacFadyen (The Bureau for Investigative Journalism, UK), Chuck Lewis (American University), Julian Assange (WikiLeaks), Birgitta Jónsdóttir (Member of Parliament, Iceland) and Jon Weber (The Bay Citizen). Lowell Bergman moderates.
Julian Assange is an Australian journalist, programmer and Internet activist, best known for his involvement with Wikileaks, a whistleblower website.
Lowell Bergman, Director of the Investigative Reporting Program, is also a producer and correspondent for the PBS documentary series Frontline, and the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism.
Birgitta Jonsdottir was born in Reykjavik, Iceland 1967. She has lived in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, USA, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands. She is currently living in Iceland.
Jonsdottir has been active in the Icelandic literature, music, and art scenes for more then 20 years and is considered one of the pioneers in bringing art and literature to the Internet. Her first book of poetry, Frostdinglar (Icicles), was published when she was twenty by one of Iceland's leading publishers. Her art has been exhibited in the USA, Asia and Europe. She has performed and lectured at festivals around the world. Her work has been published in anthologies, TV, radio, magazines, newspapers and on the Internet.
In 2008 she was one of the primus motors in various grassroots movements and helped co-found Solitary, a coalition of the grassroots movements for social change because of the economical collapse in Iceland. Shortly thereafter she founded with others the Civic Movement, a political movement that ran for parliamentary election in April 2009. The movement got more then 7% of the vote despite the fact they were only formed 8 weeks before elections and had no money to spend. They got 4 members of Parliament. The Civic Movement is a hit and run party - its main aim is to bring on democratic reform, bring more power to the people and to work as a horizontal movement. In the summer of 2009 a faction of the Civic movement made a hostile takeover at the annual meeting and changed the fundamental laws about the functions of the Civic Movement - changing it from a movement to party politics. That takeover resulted in all the MPs to leaving the Civic Movement. They created the Movement in order to preserve the integrity of the hit and run policy and horizontal structure of power. Jonsdottir is one of the Members of Parliament for the Movement.
Charles Lewis is a professor of journalism and the founding executive editor of the new Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication, in Washington, D.C.
A national investigative journalist since 1977, Lewis is a bestselling author who has founded or co-founded four nonprofit enterprises in Washington, including the Center for Public Integrity. He left a successful career as an investigative producer for ABC News and the CBS News program "60 Minutes" and began the Center for Public Integrity from his home, growing it to a full-time staff of 40 people. Under his leadership, the Center published roughly 300 investigative reports, including 14 books, from 1989 through 2004, honored more than 30 times by national journalism organizations.
Lewis was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998. And in 2004, PEN USA, the respected literary organization, gave its First Amendment award to Lewis, "for expanding the reach of investigative journalism, for his courage in going after a story regardless of whose toes he steps on, and for boldly exercising his freedom of speech and freedom of the press." In 2009, the Encyclopedia of Journalism cited Lewis as "one of the 30 most notable investigative reporters in the U.S. since World War I."
Gavin MacFadyen is the director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, a visiting professor at City University and research consultant to several US documentary and feature film companies.
He is a former producer-director at Granada Television's World in Action, Channel 4's Dispatches, BBC documentaries and current affairs, PBS, Frontline and ABC.
In addition to designing training programs and speaking in Brazil, Canada, China, Serbia, Norway, and the U.S., he has three feature film projects, based on investigations, currently in development.
Prior to joining as Editor-in-Chief of The Bay Citizen, Jonathan Weber worked as reporter, editor and media entrepreneur for more than 20 years.
He most recently served as CEO and editor-in-chief of New West Publishing, the Missoula, Montana-based media company that he founded in 2005. New West's flagship product is NewWest.Net, an award-winning local and regional online publication about the Rocky Mountain West. One of the earliest experiments in creating a new, Web-centric model for high-quality journalism, NewWest.Net combines traditional reporting and writing with various forms of participatory journalism. Weber also served as the first T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Montana, and remains a member of the Journalism School Advisory Council.
Weber began his journalism career with Fairchild Publications, and served in that company's Paris bureau, among other assignments. He was part of the launch team for Geneva-based World Link magazine, a publication of the World Economic Forum.
Weber earned a B.A in Philosophy from Wesleyan University.
WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange explains why the organization has to provide text summaries of its raw data, as well as edit and annotate its raw video. Without the context, Assange says the site's more esoteric and technical content would simply "fall into the gutter."
In this April 2010 highlight, WikiLeaks Editor Julian Assange recalls a few of the various government efforts to monitor and potentially shut down the site. "Whenever you see surveillance, what you're seeing is always the tip of the iceberg," he notes, "because it's when people have screwed up."