The first year of the Academy of Investigative Journalism provided further education to ten journalists
The Fund for Transparent Slovakia, in cooperation with the Fund for Investigative Journalism at the Open Society Foundation, held the first year of the Academy of Investigative Journalism attended by ten journalists from print, electronic, and online media, and TV newsrooms. The event took place on the 10th – 12th September 2021.
The academy aimed to provide its participants with access to the world of investigative journalism. During the lectures and discussions, they gained a lot of knowledge and experience needed for journalistic work. They discussed how to work with resources, how to process a specific topic, what opportunities are there in open data and information law, and cyber security. Besides completing professional training and workshops under the guidance of experienced Slovak and foreign experts, participants had a unique opportunity to meet their colleagues from other media and the non-profit sector and debate actively.
“The Academy wants to provide budding investigative journalists with the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Having quality journalists is especially important for our society today. Therefore, I am glad that we can help them practically, providing an opportunity to focus on issues which are often forgotten in education, and thus contribute to the improvement of investigative journalism in Slovakia,” says Michal Kišša, Executive Director of the Pontis Foundation.
The Academy of Investigative Journalism was coordinated by Martina Hmírová (Fund for Transparent Slovakia) and Miroslava Širotníková (Open Society Foundation). “The tragic murder of Ján Kuciak has shown the whole of Slovakia how important but also risky the work of journalists is. And no matter what happens in politics or society, we do not want to forget the work and legacy of Ján Kuciak. That is why we and the Pontis Foundation decided to contribute to the professional training of young journalists. Further education will help them uncover issues important to our society, but also protect themselves and their sources of information, and do their jobs responsibly, efficiently and in high quality, for the benefit of society as a whole,” adds Širotníková.
The graduates of the academy had the opportunity to apply for a closed grant call and receive the support of up to 2,000 EUR for their investigative projects. Grant applications will have been evaluated by an independent evaluation committee by the end of October. Besides the grant, successful applicants will be provided also with professional mentoring during project preparation.