Why Collective Intelligence?
Investigative journalism is changing, as are the people and organisations drawn to do it. While the mainstream media struggles with its authority and its business model, investigative reporting is growing in new places, and has discovered fresh allies and intermediaries. From facilities for anonymous online leaks and open-source intelligence tools, to the deployment of artificial intelligence and an energetic new cadre of freelancers and independent researchers, the result has been new sources of expertise and new ways of working, often across national and disciplinary borders. This new networked, interdisciplinary intelligence is making journalism smarter.
At the same time, however, the authorities are taking advantage of our organisational disarray by cracking down. From heavy-handed searches of our offices to draconian regimes of electronic surveillance, the last few years have seen the wholesale persecution of technologists, journalists, sources and whistleblowers. Public interest investigative reporting is now on the frontline – and those working in and around it under unprecedented threat.
Journalist-led and curated by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, the 4th CIJ Logan Symposium brings together some of the world’s most formidable and creative investigators to think about how best to take advantage of this new collective intelligence, and how better to build fresh international alliances against the encroachment of surveillance, official secrecy and censorship. What does it mean to be a journalist in the 21st Century, and how can we preserve the traditional legal protections afforded to the profession while extending support to our new allies and intermediaries? Amid sophisticated new kinds of state surveillance and threats from everyone from transnational corporations to terrorists, how do we best challenge power? Does the emerging culture of online anonymous leaking bring dangers as well as opportunities? And as big technology companies and foundations pick up the slack of funding investigative journalism – how does that change the dilemmas that we face?