Australian businessman makes major investment in international investigative journalism, ICIJ and Center for Public Integrity announce
$1.5 million grant from entrepreneur and philanthropist Graeme Wood will increase global reporting capacity and create investigative journalism fellowship program
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a project of the Center for Public Integrity, today announced the largest grant from an individual in its 15-year history. Sydney philanthropist and businessman Graeme Wood, founder of the online publication The Global Mail, has pledged $1.5 million to ICIJ over the next three years to bolster its cross-border investigative reporting capacity.
Wood was elected a member of the Center for Public Integrity’s Board of Directors at their June 21st meeting in New York.
“On behalf of The Center for Public Integrity and ICIJ, we are tremendously motivated by Mr. Wood’s gift designed to strengthen our international collaborations with other investigative institutions,” said the Center’s Executive Director Bill Buzenberg. “A new research desk, fellowship program, and above all more reporting capacity will fortify ICIJ’s unique cross-border investigative work. We are very grateful for this important backing and Mr. Wood’s membership on our Board.”
The Australian entrepreneur is also the key backer of The Guardian newspaper’s new digital edition in Australia, and founder of Wotif.com, Australia’s leading travel website. An environmentalist and advocate of government transparency, Wood is additionally the founder of not-for-profit Wild Mob which engages young people in environmental conservation and Artology, which develops the creative potential of young people through experiential learning in the Arts.
The Global Mail will become the first institutional member of ICIJ for the next three years. Wood says “The institutional membership of ICIJ will accelerate The Global Mail’s move into major investigative journalism projects, a specialization that is on the decline in traditional media organizations.”
This action kicks off ICIJ’s initiative to align with other media outlets so they can become contributing partners with ICIJ as institutional members. ICIJ plans to add about ten institutional memberships in the next 24 months.
ICIJ is recognized most recently as the journalistic organization that cracked open the historically impenetrable world of offshore tax havens with its massive Offshore Leaks project, Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze, based on a cache of 2.5 million leaked files. The project has already had an enormous global impact, along with the release of the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database which allows users to search through more than 100,000 secret companies, trusts, and funds created in offshore locales such as the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, and Singapore.
The new year-long ICIJ Global Investigative Journalism Fellowship program, launched thanks to Wood’s gift, will begin in January 2014. The program will provide investigative training for international journalism fellows, beginning with a yet-to-be-named fellow from Australia.
The new ICIJ research desk is expected to be up and running this fall. The research desk and data library will be a go-to resource for institutional members and the more than 160 ICIJ members worldwide. The desk will support the network with data and documents and their usage, along with other assistance on a case-by-case basis.
About the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is an active global network of 160 reporters in more than 60 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories. Founded in 1997, ICIJ was launched as a project of the Center for Public Integrity to extend the Center’s style of watchdog journalism, focusing on issues that do not stop at national frontiers: cross-border crime, corruption, and the accountability of power. Backed by the Center and its computer-assisted reporting specialists, public records experts, fact-checkers and lawyers, ICIJ reporters and editors provide real-time resources and state-of-the-art tools and techniques to journalists around the world.
About the Center for Public Integrity
Founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis, the Center for Public Integrity is one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: to enhance democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.
SOURCE International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)