Fojo gathers journalists from all around the world in global media conference

Pictured: Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Hamburg 25. – 29.09.2019 Copyright: Nick Jaussi /
Hem/News/Fojo gathers journalists from all around the world in global media conference

In just a week, more than 2,000 journalists from 130 countries will gather at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre to exchange ideas, learn from each other, and network. When the world’s largest gathering of investigative journalists takes place in Sweden for the first time, Fojo Media Institute from the Linnaeus University, is at the centre of it. We had a chat with Sofia Hultqvist, one of our project managers, to explain why.

Sofia Hultqvist, Project Manager from Fojo. Sofia has a background in investigative journalism both from within Sweden and internationally. She was previously stationed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on behalf of Fojo.

The Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), which hosts the conference with the same name, serves as a multinational network for investigative journalists worldwide. How does Fojo Media Institute (Linnaeus University), fit into this?
– Fojo operates internationally to support investigative journalism. We work to facilitate and create networks among journalists and media outlets working with this type of journalism worldwide. Additionally, we also collaborate with GIJN in several regions globally, so it’s actually not surprising that Fojo is a co-organiser. When the 2021conference, originally planned to be held in Sydney, was postponed multiple times due to the pandemic, they asked us if we wanted to host the next one, and of course, we said yes!

How has the interest in the conference been?
– Tremendous! With more than 2,000 journalists from more than 100 countries, the conference is sold out. The interest in it has been immense and it keeps growing every year. Even though Swedish journalists showed interest a bit later than others, it has also been substantial. After all, it doesn’t demand as much planning to travel from Skövde (Sweden) as it does from Bujumbura or Dhaka (laughs).

The conference has previously been held in cities like Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, and Genéva. Why Gothenburg this time?
– It was a very simple decision, actually. There are very few places in Sweden that can accommodate so many conference participants at once. Gothenburg is also a hub for investigative journalism, with shows like “Uppdrag Granskning,” “Kaliber,” and the Gothenburg Post’s investigative unit based there. A lot of excellent investigative journalism comes from Gothenburg!

Is there a need for such a large conference for investigative journalists from around the world?
– Journalism needs to scrutinise global events. Working only on a national level really does not suffice and that’s why cross-border investigations are incredibly important. Forums like the GIJC are crucial for journalists from different parts of the world to connect. Many cross-border investigations that have been conducted, originated from meetings and networking during previous GIJCs. It is also essential for investigative journalists to stay up-to-date on new investigative methods to be able to carry out their (often precarious) work. At this conference, we have the opportunity to share our experiences, tools, research tips, publication methods, work processes, funding strategies and collaborations, providing essential inspiration to one another. It is also vital to meet on a global stage like this, with representatives from far beyond the Western world. Approximately 130 countries are represented at the GIJC this year.

– Fojo is bringing several journalists from our various projects around the world, including Bangladesh, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Russia to the conference. The GIJC aligns perfectly with our mission as it connects our projects to one another and strengthens networks. We’ve also been able to offer 150 scholarships to participants who couldn’t afford the conference fee themselves.

What are you most looking forward to personally?
– Meeting all the incredible people that will be there, both friends and those I’ve never met before, many of whom work under very challenging conditions with very limited freedom of expression. There will be so many amazing and courageous individuals there and it is simply a privilege to have the opportunity to share experiences with them.