1. What’s the Global Investigative Journalism Conference?
Every two years since 2001, the world’s investigative journalism community has joined together in a different city, and the results have been extraordinary. The GIJCs are giant training conferences, with practical panels and workshops on the latest investigative techniques, data analysis, cross-border collaboration, and more by the best journalists in the field. Our conferences have trained over 5,000 journalists and resulted in the founding of investigative teams, nonprofit newsrooms, and headline-making stories around the world.
You don’t want to miss this one — it will be the GIJC’s 10th anniversary and our first time in Africa. The Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC17) is brought to you by the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Wits Journalism Program of University of the Witwatersrand, with the support of the program’s Investigative Journalism Workshop and the University of of the Witwatersrand. Read more about us here.
2. Who will be the speakers and what can we expect?
We’ll be hosting many of the world’s top investigative reporters, editors, and producers, as well as key resource people on freedom of information, media law, and security. We expect about 120 panels, training sessions, keynotes and workshops. Check out the program site for confirmed updates. Read more about speakers here.
3. Where and when are the conference?
For #GIJC17, the world’s muckrakers are gathering at the Wits Science Stadium at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), in Johannesburg, South Africa. The stadium complex was opened in June 2012. It consists of a former sports grandstand that has been converted into lecture theatres, and a new building housing laboratories. Read more about the venue here.
The conference begins with a reception the evening of Wednesday (6pm to 8pm), November 15, and runs until 12 noon on Sunday, November 19.
4. How can I register?
Conference registration is open now. You can register via our Eventbrite page. The early bird registration fee is US$250 (until September 15). After that date, the fee will be US$280. Read more about registration here.
5. How can I pay the conference fee?
Eventbrite will give you the option to pay with one of four credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, AMEX, or Discover). You can also register at the conference venue, with a credit card or cash, but we do encourage everybody to register in advance (and avoid long lines). Registration page is here.
6. Where do I stay during the conference
We have identified a number of quality hotels in the city and negotiated discounts for attendees. Check our recommended hotel page for booking codes. A lot of participants are expected to attend the conference, and rooms will fill up, so book early if you can.
7. Where can I find the cheapest flights to Johannesburg?
The cheapest tickets to O.R. Tambo International Airport can be found through sites such as Momondo, Kayak, Expedia, or Hotwire. If you prefer to use a travel agent, Wits Journalism recommends Sandown Travel in Johannesburg (GIJC2017FLIGHTS@sandowntravel.co.za).
8. What about public transportation from the airport to your hotel?
Johannesburg, much like Los Angeles, is a young and sprawling city geared to the freeway-borne private motorist, with some excellent public transport. Travelers arriving at Johannesburg’s international airport, O.R. Tambo International, are just a half-hour drive from most major parts of the city. The Gautrain can take visitors to Rosebank or, for those staying in the city centre, to Park Station. The Gautrain has a comprehensive schedule available on Gautrain Timetable. Travelers buy a pre-paid card at the airport.
For travelers arriving very early or very late, most hotels operate their own shuttle bus services to and from the airport. The cost is R560 (US$45) one way per person. The Uber app is also fully functional across South Africa and Uber cabs are another means of getting around conveniently, safely, and affordably. Read more about transportation here.
9. Do I need a visa to enter South Africa?
There is a long list of countries that do not require visas to enter South Africa. You can read more about visas here.
10. How can I become a sponsor?
The GIJC is possible because of sponsors large and small, including foundations, news media, NGOs, schools and training centres, tech companies, and individuals. We raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring talented journalists from around the world to these events, and we need your support. Here’s a chance to support the “special forces” of journalism – the reporters, editors, producers and programmers on the front lines of battling crime, corruption, abuse of trust, and lack of accountability. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the list of current sponsors here.
11. Is there financial assistance for journalists to attend?
Yes! GIJN and Wits Journalism are giving out over 100 fellowships for journalists from developing and transitioning countries to attend. The deadline is May 15, 2017. Read more about the fellowship programme here.
12. What is the currency used in South Africa?
South Africa uses the rand (R) or (ZAR). Bank notes are issued in R10, R20, R50, R100, and R200 denominations and coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5. Please note that debit and credit cards are widely accepted, particularly MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Diners Club. Read more about currency here.
13. What is the climate in Johannesburg in November?
November marks the spring season in Johannesburg and the weather is generally in the range of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius or more by midday (in the 70’s F.) and drops to about 16 degrees at night (low 60’s F.). Please ensure you have adequate sun protection. The evenings can still be slightly chilly so a light jacket is recommended. Read more about weather here.
14. What is the dress code for the conference?
Dress code for the GIJC is casual. Jeans, shoes or sneakers, shirts or t-shirts are all okay. You might want to dress up for the award ceremony dinner on Saturday evening. Pack a warm, waterproof jacket, just in case. Read more about what to wear here.
15. How safe is Johannesburg for travelers?
The university provides a safe and relaxed conference environment, as do the recommended hotels. However, visitors to Johannesburg need to take precautions against crime. Walking on foot outside of campus, especially at night, is not recommended for travelers who are unfamiliar with Johannesburg city centre and the area around the university campus. Be alert and do not carry your valuables in a way that is clearly visible and easily accessible. Read more about safety here.