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The investigative Journalism Community

In the past decades a community of investigative journalists has evolved. Today there are lively and regular contacts on regional, national, European and global level. Journalists unite to share methods, develop the journalistic craft and, not in the least, network for research. 

Reporter Don Bolles thought he was going to meet a source - part of his research into land fraud involving organised crime. Instead the journalist at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, was so heavily injured by a car bomb, that the doctors could not save him, even though they struggled for days.

This happened in 1976, and some of his colleagues, reporters and editors, had only one year before founded the association for Investigative Reporters and Editors. They decided to finish his research. A big empty room was hired and turned into a newsroom, reporters and editors over weeks and months granted spare time and expertise to unveil the criminal structure. The action got later known as the Arizona Project, and is considered one of the set-offs for investigative journalists cooperating more intensely.

While US colleagues started to cooperate on investigative journalism already in 1975, European journalists began to found investigative associations only in the late 1980s, when Denmark (1989), Sweden and Norway (1990) and Finland (1992) founded associations for investigative journalism. 

The next move came around the time of the first Global Investigative Conference, which was held in Copenhagen in 2001. In these years, Germany and Netherlands/Flanders founded their associations for investigative journalism, in Romania the Romanian Center for Investigative Reporting was founded in 2001 as well.

Since then various initiatives, projects and organisations supporting research journalism have been growing, thus providing fertile soil for further developments, most recently Switzerland, Slovenia and Poland have founded networks or organisations for investigative journalism.

The overall aim is to support and develop research and quality journalism. This is done by exchanging best experiences, developing, sharing and improving new methods and through networking.

Find a list with contacts to the European investigative journalism community here

The Global Investigative Journalism network meets every 18-24 months. In Europe journalists interested in crossborder and data journalism meet at the annual Data Harvest Conference in May each year. A European Investigative Journalism conference was held in 2008 and 2012 by the Dutch-Flemish VVOJ. The Dataharvest growing significantly as of 2015 is also called the European Investigative Journalism Conference.