The Abraji’s 16th International Congress of Investigative Journalism registered 7,781 subscribers up to Aug 31, 2021. The total of participants surpasses 10,000 participants when the two side events – VII Research Seminar and 3rd Data Sunday are included. The number of participants tends to grow since registrations remain open until Sep 29, 2021. Click here to attend the sessions.
Last year’s Congress – the first held online due to the pandemic – featured 105 speakers. In 2021, we gathered 142 speakers from Monday to Friday (Aug 23 to 27, 2021), 38 at the Research Seminar (Aug 28), and 30 on Data Sunday (Aug 30), totaling 210 speakers among mediators, lecturers, and instructors of workshops and courses.
The largest journalism event in Brazil and one of the most important in Latin America also brought a record of foreign guest speakers. They amount to 30 in 2021 – against 18 in 2020 from 8 countries – and came from 15 countries: Canada, China, Cuba, Colombia, Spain, United States, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Mexico, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, United Kingdom, and Taiwan.
In addition to making the Congress more inclusive, with around 30% of non-white panelists (against 26% in 2020), the sessions featured original language audio or simultaneous interpretation. Ten sessions included Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) interpretation, and three live events had live subtitling in Portuguese.
Another inclusion aspect was the free registration, as pointed out by the president of Abraji, Marcelo Träsel: “Thanks to the sponsors’ support, it was possible to maintain free access to the Congress this year. In addition to benefiting journalists harmed by the economic crisis, gratuity meets the needs of colleagues who cannot afford to pay a few hundred reais to be part of the program. The virtual model also helped in this regard, as it avoids travel and accommodation costs. Considering the success of the experiment, we are discussing hybrid models for future congresses.”
Themes and tributes
The Congress’s featured issues included the environment, declining democracy, judicial harassment against journalists, attacks against women, press persecution, racism, disinformation, 2022 elections, ethics, investigations of sexual abuse, the journalists’ health, and effects of the pandemic on education coverage. Backstage reporting, hands-on workshops, and data journalism courses reinforced Abraji’s commitment to the training of journalists.
In 2021, Elaíze Farias and Kátia Brasil, the two founders of Amazônia Real, the first independent and investigative journalism agency in the country’s North region, were honored for their contribution to journalism. The event schedule featured a documentary about the career of the two reporters directed by Carolina Fernandes from Banksia Filmes.
The 16th Congress paid tribute to organizations that defend freedom of expression and press through the documentary “Escalada”, produced by Outros Olhos. Diego de Godoy – responsible for the recorded panels of the entire event – directs the documentary that brings the list of 278 journalists killed during the pandemic – a figure obtained from a Fenaj (National Federation of Journalists) survey.
The content available on the platform is massive and requires time from participants – however, as in most remote courses, sessions can be attended at any time. The five days of the main event total 43.3 hours of activities, plus sponsors’ content. The 3rd Data Sunday offered 15.5 hours of training and the VIIIth Research Seminar, 8 hours.
The 16th International Congress of Investigative Journalism is sponsored by the Facebook Journalism Project, Google News Initiative, Grupo Globo and Luminate, in addition to Agência Lupa, Artigo 19, CNN Brasil, Folha de S. Paulo, International News Safety Institute (INSI), Itaú, Metropolis, O Estado de S.Paulo, Poder360, Trust Project, Twitter, and UOL. The event had media support from CBN, Correio (BA), GloboNews, Grupo RBS and revista piauí and institutional support from Abert, Agência Pública, Ajor, Aner, ANJ, Comunique-se, US Consulates and Embassy, FAAP, FCB Brasil, Forum on the Right of Access to Public Information, Knight Center, ESPM Journalism, Jornalistas & Cia, Oboré, Portal Imprensa, PUC-SP, Textual Comunicação, and UNESCO.
Check out here for the full portuguese coverage of the 16th Congress, carried out by students, recent undergraduates, and journalists from OBORÉ’s Laboratory of the Reporter of the Future.