Growing Interest for Investigative Journalism in Russia

A record number of journalists have applied for a working grant from SCOOP Russia. In spite of the severely increased pressure on media and journalists in Russia, the willingness to conduct Investigative Journalism is growing in North West Russia. When the deadline for applications to SCOOP Russia expired, the number of applications to get support from the programme had increased by 42 per cent compared to the year before. 61 journalists have applied – the highest number ever.

SCOOP coordinator for St. Petersburg Anton Sotnitchuk introduces the program at the seminar in the offices of the Regional press Institute in St. Petersburg

Some applicants had taken part in the programme before. But the most significant change is that the first time appliers increased with 58 per cent.

– This is very satisfying. It shows that more and more journalists in North West Russia are willing to make proper investigations and present them to their local audience, says Börge Nilsson from the Swedish Society of Investigative Journalism, FGJ, who is the Project Coordinator for Scoop Russia.

Scoop Russia is a peer-to-peer project initiated by the Danish society of Investigative Journalism, FUJ, and run by the Danish and Swedish organisations in cooperation with International Media Support in Copenhagen, the Regional Press Institute in Saint Petersburg and the Swedish press Institute FOJO in Kalmar. FOJO organizes a weeklong education in journalistic investigations for all first-time participants in the programme.

The project is financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida.

During the last weeks of February the applications will be evaluated. The selection for the four regions is made by four coordinator pairs of Russian and Scandinavian journalists.

– But keep in mind that Scandinavian journalists are not telling their Russian colleagues what to investigate. All subjects are entirely chosen by the local journalists applying for support with themes they find important for their readers, listeners and viewers. We just help by educating in how to do it, says Project Coordinator Börge Nilsson.

Scoop Russia also pays costs necessary for the investigation, such as analyses in laboratories or travel costs, plus a small fee.

Many journalists turned up in Syktyvkar in the Komi Republic to hear about the possibilities for support from SCOOP.

The range of media goes from very small newsrooms in the countryside to media in the second biggest city in Russia, Saint Petersburg.

During January and the beginning of February, SCOOP Russia’s Russian partner organization Regional Press Institute in Saint Petersburg in cooperation with the regional SCOOP coordinators, held a number of seminars in different regions. The seminars were well visited and very successful.

– This year we are very happy to see more applications than ever from cities up north, such as Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Syktyvkar in Komi Republic. We also see a growing number of first-time applications from Kaliningrad where we already have a number of experienced journalists who has participated in our project for a number of years, Project Coordinator Börge Nilsson says.

 

 

About SCOOP

SCOOP is a network and support structure for investigative journalists. SCOOP supports investigative journalism and provides national and international networks for media professionals who are conducting investigations. Since 2003 SCOOP has supported several hundred investigations and facilitated national and international contacts between journalists to investigate across borders and share experiences.
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