#GavinRemembered: in memory of our founding director

    This weekend we remember our founding director Gavin MacFadyen, who died of lung cancer a year ago. 
     
    It was impossible not to like Gavin. His enthusiasm, love of life, courage and incredible capacity for friendship won you over immediately. 
     
    An investigative journalist and a filmmaker, he founded the Centre for Investigative Journalism in 2003. Since then the CIJ has gone from strength to strength, establishing itself as the bastion for tough investigative reporting and training. 
     
    It was Gavin's idea to bring data journalism, then called Computer Assisted Reporting, to the UK. Back in 2003 no one knew how Excel could help journalists. At the first series of classes only a handful of people showed up. But Gavin was not deterred - he was a stubborn man, and year after year he kept inviting the leading CAR trainers from the US-based training organisation Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE-NICAR). 
     
    Then something happened! Data Journalism exploded: journalists who knew how to do it got front page stories and published award-winning books! The CIJ was firmly put on the map as the leading training organisation of cutting edge investigative skills and our flagship training conference: CIJ Summer School (now #CIJSummer) became the only event in the UK solely dedicated to teaching investigative skills. 
     
     
    Fast-forward several years and the CIJ with Gavin at its helm was helping whistleblowers, introducing InfoSec training to journalists, leading the way on teaching Freedom of Information Access, financial journalism and of course data. 
     
    Two major Logan Symposia took place in London and Berlin with people like Edward Snowden, Seymour Hersh, Julian Assange, Lowell Bergman, John Pilger and Laura Poitras taking part. 
     
    And then we received the news of Gavin’s illness. People from all over the world flew to London to see Gavin and to say goodbye. 
     
    Following Gavin’s death, the board, led by Caroline Nevejan, and the staff of the CIJ were concerned with making sure Gavin’s legacy and work continued. 
     
    One year on, we are proud to say that the CIJ stands strong. 
     
    After an interim period, James Harkin joined the CIJ as the new director. He comes with a wealth of investigative journalism and events experience. Renowned journalist and broadcaster Isabel Hilton also joined the CIJ board as the new chair. 
      
    The 2017 #CIJSummer Conference saw the launch of the Gavin MacFadyen memorial lecture series. And what a launch it was! Courageous Mexican journalist Anabel Hernandez set the lecture hall on fire with her testimony about life as an investigative journalist in Mexico. 
     
    Irving Huerta became the inaugural Gavin MacFadyen memorial fellow. Our friends Compassion in Care launched The Gavin MacFadyen award, awarded annually to journalists who work and support whistle-blowers. The 2017 award was awarded to Private Eye. 
     
    The CIJ has launched regular #LOGANCIJ talks, free events with some of the best journalists, editors, activists, authors and broadcasters: Mariya Alyokhina of Pussy Riot and legendary Lowell Bergman were the first two speakers. Jimmy Wales, founder of WikiPedia and WikiTribune will be the next speaker on 2 November.  
     
    The third CIJ Logan Symposium will be taking place in the autumn of 2018 at Goldsmiths, University of London and the #CIJSummer Conference is scheduled for 28-30 June 2018. 
     
    CIJ director James Harkin said “A year after Gavin’s death, we miss his presence as much as ever. The CIJ’s unique status as a journalism organisation -  its reputation for training and for combative ideas - owes everything to his patient work in speaking, campaigning, investigating, and travelling the world to build us a reputation and a global network. As the CIJ goes forward and grows in exciting new directions, we’re drawing on his imagination still.”
     
    Susan Benn, Gavin’s widow wrote “In a year when all of us who worked with and loved Gavin were struggling to get used to his absence, it is reassuring to see how the CIJ Director, team, Board of Trustees and loyal funders are consolidating our work and our relationship with Goldsmiths, University of London. 
    Gavin’s radical journalistic principles and experience were an inspiration which is embedded in the DNA of the CIJ. 
    He was not just an investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker. He brought together courageous journalists with lawyers, artists, computer scientists, environmentalists, ethical hackers and others from across the UK and around the world to create new forms of rigorous investigative practice. 
    As we consider his legacy I look forward to a year ahead of investigative stories from CIJ students that can not only reveal the causes of injustice but will identify potential solutions to make the world a safer place.”
     
    We hope Gavin would have been proud. 
      
    The CIJ Team
    Follow #GavinRemembered on twitter and share your memories. @cijournalism
    Gavin’s tribute page with video of last year’s memorial. 
    Gavin's photos on the CIJ Facebook page.