The Global Reporting Centre and the Citizens are pleased to announce the seven recipients of The Tiny Foundation Fellowships for Investigative Journalism.
The fellows include both up-and-coming and experienced journalists, who will receive up to $20,000 to dive into the role of technology in abuses of power. Their projects will focus on issues related to data privacy, surveillance technology, and the erosion of democratic accountability. Editors from the GRC and the Citizens will provide mentorship in reporting, writing, and multimedia.
“Fellowships like this one are hugely important for independent investigative journalists, especially at a time when the media industry is in flux. It would be tough to do the kind of reporting that [we] do without this support,” said Hilary Beaumont, one of the recipients of the fellowship.
The Tiny Foundation Fellowship for Investigative Journalism is a unique collaboration from three global organizations committed to supporting the next generation of independent journalists. The fellowships are co-administered by the Citizens (UK) and the Global Reporting Centre (Canada), with funding from The Tiny Foundation (Canada).
“The past decade has seen some of the best investigative reporting come from independent journalists with philanthropic support,” said GRC founder Peter Klein.
“We can’t wait to get started on these investigations with this brilliant group of journalists,” added Clara Maguire, Executive Director of the Citizens. “The questions they are asking are global in nature and of the utmost public interest, seeking to shine a light on data abuse and the impact of disinformation on democracy.”
Below is a list of the Fellows:
Jennifer Ugwa and Amos Abba
Jennifer Ugwa is an independent investigative journalist and storyteller based in Abuja, Nigeria
Amos Abba is in Abuja, Nigeria and works as an investigative journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) – an online media platform based in Abuja with specific emphasis on holding the powerful to account.
Ugwa and Abba are co-reporting an investigation into digital loan sharks in Nigeria, who use cyberbullying as a debt collection strategy, and their efforts to avoid paying taxes
Astha Rajvanshi is an independent journalist based in Mumbai, India. Her writing has appeared in TIME, WIRED, National Geographic, Slate, BBC, and The New York Times, among other outlets. She recently completed a two-year fellowship at the Institute of Current World Affairs, and previously she worked at NYT Magazine and Reuters in New York. She has received reporting awards and fellowships from New York University, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the Global Migration Project, and the Australia-Korea Foundation. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School’s investigative reporting program, she was born in New Delhi and grew up in Sydney, Australia.
Rajvanshi’s project will focus on internet censorship in India.
Caitlin Thompson is a reporter at Coda Story. As the author of Coda’s Authoritarian Tech newsletter and the host and lead producer of the weekly podcast Coda Currents, she has covered everything from digital authoritarianism to disinformation. As part of the team at KAZU, NPR for California’s Monterey Bay Area, she won a National Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of historic wildfires. She has reported on algorithms that determine if a person experiencing homelessness in San Francisco qualifies for supportive housing, predictive policing in Florida, and Northern Ireland’s struggle to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.
Thompson will be focusing on child welfare algorithms to identify children who are at high risk for death or serious injury as a result of abuse or neglect.
Rowan Moore Gerety
Rowan Moore Gerety is a reporter and audio producer based in Phoenix, Arizona. He has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Esquire, and WIRED, among others, and is the author of Go Tell the Crocodiles: Chasing Prosperity in Mozambique. He has produced podcasts and radio documentaries for outlets including NPR, Reveal, Latino USA, and the LA Times. He has received SPJ and Edward R. Murrow awards for investigative reporting, and his work for the podcast 70 Million was nominated for a Peabody award. He has been a fellow with the US Fulbright Program and the International Reporting Project (IRP), and speaks French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Gerety will focus on the proliferation and use of new surveillance technology among small and rural law enforcement agencies.
Hilary Beaumont and Martha Troian
Hilary Beaumont is a freelance investigative journalist who has reported from the US, Canada and Mexico, covering the intersection of Indigenous rights, environment, immigration and climate change. She has previously investigated cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG), as well as data privacy issues, and has earned awards for her investigative reporting, including for a collaborative investigation with Martha Troian on Canada’s Indigenous water crisis. She regularly contributes to The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Narwhal, and other publications
Martha Troian is an Indigenous investigative freelance journalist and producer who has contributed to media outlets across North America. She is known for her investigations into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, environmental and human rights issues, Canadian Indian residential schools, and Indigenous politics. Martha has been involved with small to large-scale collaborative projects, and regularly works in investigative journalism, podcasting, data journalism, radio, magazine, and online storytelling. She is originally from Lac Seul First Nation, with ties to Wabauskang First Nation in northern Ontario. Martha is a mother to a young boy and lives between Manitoba and Ontario, Canada.
Troian and Beaumont will look into the private ownership of DNA databases and how their use in MMIWG cases by law enforcement raises new questions about consent and sovereignty for Indigenous people. This investigation will explore what these new techniques mean for family members of these women and girls, and the risks and merits of sharing their DNA with genetic genealogy databases.
Founded in 2016, the Global Reporting Centre is a non-profit organization based out of the University of British Columbia. The GRC brings together journalists, scholars, and media partners to investigate and report on complex global issues. It focuses on challenging and innovating how journalism is practiced around the world.
The Citizens use impact journalism to hold big tech and government to account. It is a UK-based non-profit organization dedicated to reporting about data rights, platform power, dark money, and erosion of democratic accountability.
The Tiny Foundation is a Canadian organization dedicated to empowering great minds to do good. The foundation facilitates change by providing funding to individuals and groups pushing the world forward in a positive way.