About Us

What we do

The IJ Hub serves investigative journalism in Southern Africa. We build the capacity of investigative journalists and journalism centres via fellowships, training workshops and a range of editorial and organisational services. We also raise philanthropic funding for our member centres.

Why we do it

It is widely recognised that investigative journalism is a key component of democratic accountability. It exposes wrongdoing, equipping people to hold public and private sector power to account. However, the digital revolution has fractured audiences and broken the advertising-based revenue model, making it difficult for investigative journalism to flourish. In many parts of the developed world and in some developing countries, South Africa included, the response has been a new model comprising non-profit platforms, philanthropic funding and member or reader contributions. But there are hurdles in many countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Resources are limited, the media sector is often underdeveloped, and repression of critical media remains a harsh reality. To survive, many media houses in the region have opted to ally themselves with powerful political and economic interests, and either submit to censorship or censor themselves. However, a number of investigative journalists in the SADC region have bucked this trend by establishing investigative units or centres that use non-profit platforms as vehicles for exposing crime and corruption among those who wield power. Their journalism in recent years has afforded glimpses of a more accountable future in the region. These centres face special challenges, including:
  • Potential funders may regard the centres as risky investments. Some of them are small, relatively new organisations with limited track records and experience of the non-profit environment. Donors must make a large investment in getting to know small organisations that require modest grants.
  • The centres may underperform administratively. To meet funder demands for proposal writing, reporting and compliance, they must deploy resources disproportionate to their overall size, and for which they may not have the means.
  • The centres and individual investigative journalists may lack capacity to fulfil their core editorial task of investigating and exposing wrongdoing.

How we do it

It is because of these challenges that the IJ Hub was established, with the goal of supporting investigative journalism in the SADC region in the service of a free, capable media and open, accountable democracy. We pursue the goal by:
    • Raising and de-risking philanthropic funding for investigative journalism in the region;
    • Supporting and building the capacity of organisations practising investigative journalism in the region, at administrative and organisational levels; and
    • Supporting and building the capacity of organisations and journalists practising investigative journalism in the region, at an editorial level.
The IJ Hub is being incubated by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.