The Centre for Investigative Journalism
The Centre for Investigative Journalism

CIJ Recommends 2023: Good reads, podcasts and documentaries

Each year we select the books, articles, podcasts and documentaries that we liked the most. Here is the 2023 lineup – in case you get bored of playing charades.


The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion, By investigative journalist and CIJ Trainer Tansy Hoskins
An in-depth look at the global garment industry taking in workers’ right, supply chain investigations and the social harms of fashion marketing and media.



Extremely Online, By Taylor Lorenz
A timely study into the world of social media and the trajectories of the platforms and influencers that have taken over the media landscape.




Every Man For Himself and God Against All: A Memoir, By Werner Herzog
If you know, you know – highly recommend the audiobook read by the man himself.




My Fourth Time, We Drowned
Winner of the 2022 Orwell prize for Political Writing by CIJ Speaker Sally Hayden.
A staggering investigation into the migrant crisis across North Africa.




The Poet, By Michael Connelly
An oldie, but a goodie.
Denver crime-beat reporter Jack McEvoy specialises in violent death. So when his homicide detective brother kills himself, McEvoy copes in the only way he knows how–he decides to write the story. But his research leads him to suspect a serial killer is at work–a devious murderer who’s killing cops and leaving a trail of poetic clues. It’s the news story of a lifetime, if he can get the story without losing his life.


Ukraine 22. Ukrainian Writers Respond to War, Edited by Mark Andryczyk
A selection of Ukraine’s leading writers convey the reality of life within Ukraine during the first year of the invasion.




Long Reads

Philip Meyer, Reporter Who Pioneered Data-Driven Journalism, Dies at 93. By Clay Risen for The New York Times. (Paywall)
An obituary for Philip Meyer, a reporter who pioneered data-driven journalism.

Israeli tank fire killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah in Lebanon. By Maya Gebeily, Anthony Deutsch and David Clarke for Reuters.
A Reuters investigation into the killing of a Reuters journalist (and the wounding of six other reporters) at the hands of Israeli tank fire.

The Great Cash for Carbon Hustle. By Heidi Blake for The New Yorker.
Offsetting has been hailed as a fix for runaway emissions and climate change—but the market’s largest firm sold millions of credits for carbon reductions that weren’t real.

‘Get Out of Jail Free’
Source Material’s collaborative report on the rise of the new offsetting market for plastics production that’s fast becoming part of the problem.

Talking Peace in Sudan, the U.A.E. Secretly Fuels the Fight. By Declan Walsh, Christoph Koettl and Eric Schmitt for The New York Times (Paywall).
From a remote air base in Chad, the Emirates is giving arms and medical treatment to fighters on one side in Sudan’s worsening war, officials say.

How a Teenage Lie Led To the Beheading of a Teacher. by Peter Conradi for The Times.
When disinformation can kill; the murder of Samuel Paty (Paywall)

How China is Tearing Down Islam. By the FT reporters for the Financial Times.
Thousands of mosques have been altered or destroyed as Beijing’s suppression of Islamic culture spreads.
An FT visual investigation into the disappearance of mosques in China.

Jack Teixeira got security clearance despite history of violent threats. By Shane Harris and Samuel Oakford for the Washington Post.
Why did Jack Teixeira do it? The story behind the Discord leaks.

The Private History of the Espionage Act. By Amy Davidson Sorkin for The New Yorker.
The law, passed in a frenzy after the First World War, is a disaster. Why is it still on the books?

The War in Gaza Has Been Deadly for Journalists. By Isaac Chotiner for The New Yorker.
The President of the Committee to Protect Journalists explains why Israel’s military campaign lead to an unprecedented number of deaths among members of the press in just two months.

The Most Consequential Act of Sabotage in Modern Times. By Mark Bowden, for The Atlantic. (Free with a sign in, then Paywall).
The destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline curtailed Europe’s reliance on Russian gas. But who was responsible? A fantastic long read, involving lots of shoe leather, which gets us closer to the truth of one of the most consequential acts of sabotage in modern history.



First aired on BBC Radio 4. Now on BBC Sounds (UK). Also on Spotify and other platforms. – A deathbed tape leads two reporters into one of the worst environment crimes in UK history: a secret one million tonne toxic dump near a city. What did the man in the tape know?

Who Killed Daphne?
A podcast hosted by our speaker and trainer, award winning investigative journalist Stephen Grey.
When a car bomb kills Daphne Caruana Galizia on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Malta, the hunt for her killers exposes secrets with consequences that go far beyond its shores. In the aftermath of her death an international team of journalists comes together to continue her work. Along the way they start to uncover clues that might lead to her killers.

Page 94. The Private Eye Podcast
One of our firm favourites. Comes out as an when throught the year.
Some of the best stories investigated by the journalists of the Private Eye.

The Oatly Chronicles
Katy Lee and Dominic Kraemer look into the rise and controversies around the world’s biggest oat milk company.


Channel 4 On Demand. UK only.
An emotive, intimate, feature-length portrait of Lyra McKee – the remarkable young journalist murdered in Northern Ireland in 2019 after a life fearlessly committed to truth and justice. The CIJ runs an annual training and mentoring bursary scheme in her name.


20 Days in Mariupol
As the Russian invasion begins, a team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol struggle to continue their work documenting the war’s atrocities.
US – watch free of charge on PBS Frontline.
UK – watch on-demand to rent or buy. See all the platforms here.


The Power of Big Oil (for the US viewers) or Big Oil vs the World (UK viewers) by our former volunteer, now an award winning investigative documentaries producer and director and #CIJSummer Speaker Gesbeen Mohammad.




Putin’s War at Home (US viewers only) also by our former volunteer, now an award winning investigative documentaries producer and director and #CIJSummer Speaker Gesbeen Mohammad.




Disclosure: Should I tell You I’m Trans? (BBC iPlayer. UK only).
A documentary by the CIJ Lyra McKee graduate Jax Sinclair.