The Centre for Investigative Journalism
The Centre for Investigative Journalism

Gavin Hall MacFadyen


The investigative journalist Gavin MacFadyen set up the CIJ in 2003 to address what he saw as a worsening media climate for serious, in-depth and critical reporting. Gavin intended the CIJ as a refuge for critically minded journalists who want to do adversarial, public interest journalism. He thought that journalists had become accessories to the powerful, rather than acting as a check upon them – in his view, journalism’s role in a democratic society should be to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

He wanted to stretch the definition of what an investigative journalist is, to include artists, historians and even architects who use society as their raw material and try to filter information to reveal truth. The CIJ was and remains an open shop.

He produced and directed more than 50 documentaries, many for Granada Television’s World in Action, in countries as diverse as Ecuador, Guyana, South Africa, Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand, the USSR, the US, Sweden, India and Turkey. His investigations covered topics including industrial accidents, neo-Nazi violence in the UK, Chinese criminal societies, the history of the CIA, Watergate, election fraud in Guyana, the Iraq arms trade, child labour, nuclear proliferation, and Frank Sinatra’s connection to organised crime.

He died from lung cancer on 22nd October 2016.