Trial of Danish Journalists Reveals Deaths Tied to MRSA “Super Bug”

Three people have died in Denmark due to infection from drug-resistant “super-bug” bacteria from pigs. None of the deceased themselves had been in contact with the animals. Data on the three deaths emerged in testimony in the City Court of Aarhus, Denmark, on Tuesday, in the trial of Danish journalists Kjeld Hansen and Nils Mulvad. The two journalists are being prosecuted for revealing farms in which the bacteria is spreading. Mulvad is a co-founder of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, and both work for GIJN-member Investigative Reporting Denmark.

Danish Authorities Target Journos for Exposing Spread of MRSA Bug

On 21 October 2010, journalists Nils Mulvad and Kjeld Hansen published an article on the website Aabenhedstinget.dk, a forum for debate on public law and journalism. They wrote of a silenced case about the difficulties in treating abscesses and ulcers in two children in the city of Løgstør in Jutland. The children were carrying resistant bacteria (MRSA). It became known by a medical professional journal. Mulvad and Hansen used the Løgstør case to show that the government had lost control of MRSA.

Global Press Freedom Drops to Lowest Level in a Decade

Freedom House is out with its annual look at global press freedom, and the news is pretty grim: press freedom has fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade. Behind the decline were major losses in the Middle East, Turkey, Ukraine, and East Africa, as well as “deterioration in the relatively open media environment of the United States.” There were positive developments in other places, notably in sub-Saharan Africa, but the dominant trends were not good: “setbacks in every other region,” according to the report. Only one in seven people now live in a country with a free press. For more on this, see Freedom of the Press 2014.

YanukovychLeaks Update: “The Project Is Becoming Bigger”

The extraordinary story of how Ukrainian investigative reporters saved thousands of documents left by fleeing ex-president Viktor Yanokuvych has gone viral. YanukovychLeaks.org, the site thrown together by an impromptu team of journalists and hackers, has received more than 600,000 visitors since going live on Tuesday – and those documents have been viewed 3.8 million times. “That means people really do care about transparency. It is valued,” says Drew Sullivan of the nonprofit Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which is helping provide resources for the project.

“The Walls Have Fallen” – Inside YanukovychLeaks Investigation

This is a great time to be an investigative journalist in Ukraine. It is a moment of big disclosures. We had been reporting on the ultra-luxurious style of Yanukovych’s life and his corrupt ties for a long period, when this information was very well-guarded and kept as a big secret. It’s like one was trying to get into a closed, dark room for a long time. And then suddenly the walls have fallen.

YanukovychLeaks: How Ukraine Journalists Are Making History

In the hours after Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, reports started surfacing that there were documents floating in the reservoir on his palatial 350-acre estate outside the capital. The estate is well known to the media as an off-limits location; journalists, in fact, had never entered more than 300 yards past the front gate, and even at the height of Yanukovych’s openness and good relations, journalists had only been allowed to the front door to receive cakes on journalism day.

A Resource Guide to the Millennium Development Goals

IPI has compiled a set of useful resources and contacts for journalists covering topics related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While certainly not exhaustive, the links below may help point the intrepid reporter in the right direction.

On the Trail: How To Request Information from Authorities

Power sets barriers and the reporter pushes back against them—it’s an unwritten rule on which Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez believed all journalistic work is based. Some governments, however, have begun to voluntarily lower these barriers by approving legislation designed to make information more accessible to their citizens. To date, approximately 90 countries globally have freedom of information laws, which establish rules and deadlines for facilitating the collection of data.

Covering the Money behind the Millennium Development Goals

There are the two essential questions a reporter covering business, the economy, or just about any topic should always ask: ‘How much does it cost?’ and ‘Where will you get the money from?’. These simple questions are not only key to gaining information about your current story’s topic, but they offer greater insight into reasons for decisions that have a direct impact on a country and its citizens.

A Dose of Advice: Tips on Covering Healthcare

In his 1999 book Development as Freedom, renowned economist and Noble laureate Amartya Sen stated that investment in healthcare can lead to success in meeting a wide range of development targets, such as those identified by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Indeed, good healthcare improves quality of life, reduces morbidity and mortality, and raises economic productivity. As such, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised the importance of universal health coverage (UHC) and urged its member states to adopt programmes providing essential health packages.