A new investigative news website has launched in an effort to “counteract fake news and produce revelatory public interest investigations”.
The Investigative Journal will publish public interest long-form journalism written by a network of journalists around the world, including France, Venezuela, the UK, US and Canada.
The website has said its editorial ethos is “to promote objective views, human rights and the fundamentals of democracy through strong, long-form investigative reporting and video content”.
The London-based Investigative Journal is being led by editor-in-chief Jane Cahane, a journalist and sub-editor who has previously worked on travel website The Culture Trip and renewable energy news title Recharge.
Cahane said: “In an era of fake news, when the values of truth, democracy and integrity are being assaulted daily on every front, The Investigative Journal (TIJ) is here to serve the public by delivering timely, critical ― and above all, thoroughly well-researched and accurate ― reporting on issues that affect us all.
“I am thrilled to work alongside world-class reporters to advance the cause of truth and offer the highest-quality reportage on timely topics. This is the real deal ― the kind of journalism I grew up believing in and ready to fight for.”
Cahane works with a team of nine, a mixture of freelances and full-time staff, with the hope this will grow in the coming months.
The website has been funded by publisher Yousri Ishaq, who has a background in broadcast journalism at the Middle East Broadcasting Network in the US, and has been launched on a non-profit model.
But Cahane hopes a revenue model will eventually be worked out once the Investigative Journal’s presence and credibility have been established.
Reports published on the Investigative Journal are presented in an academic PDF style, with this format chosen as a way to “demonstrate the value of research, the value of investigations that are thoroughly tracked, thoroughly fact checked, that we have evidence there,” Cahane told Press Gazette.
The website’s first two reports are now live: “Wiretaps Expose Turkey’s Support to Terrorists Entering Syria” was written by Abdullah Bozkurt, the former Ankara bureau chief for English-language Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman before it shut down as he fled the country for Sweden.
Bozkurt has now founded the Stockholm Centre for Freedom, which tracks human rights violations in Turkey, and continues to report on corruption within the Turkish government and its crackdown on journalists.
The Investigative Journal has made available to download the previously unpublished wiretaps on which the story is based, with Bozkurt writing that they show how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “enabled – and even facilitated – the movement of foreign and Turkish militants across the Turkish border into Syria to fight alongside jihadists”.
The website, which launched earlier this month, has also published a report examining “The Systematic Silencing of Pakistani Journalists”.
Taha Siddiqui, who himself escaped Pakistan where he had reported for international news organisations including the New York Times, Guardian and the Telegraph, tells the stories of a number of other journalists who were killed, jailed or abducted for doing their jobs.
Both stories are also accompanied by videos allowing the journalists or other experts to go deeper into the story.
Cahane hopes to grow the Investigative Journal’s presence by hosting events in the UK and US for investigative journalists to talk about their work and about other hot topics, and network.
Canada-based head of communications and assignments editor Christopher Bennett, a former political speechwriter, said in a statement: “I took on this mission because the market obviously needs more emphasis on truth in the Trump era, and it’s quite appalling to see autocratic governments jailing and killing dozens of journalists worldwide simply for doing their jobs.
“Alongside the reports we publish, our in-house broadcast journalists interview the authors of the exclusive reports or experts on some of the topics we tackle.
“Our next phase of the launch will include investigative documentaries and cutting-edge, progressive video content that will be disseminated on social media to the masses.”