Special Events

Our journalists work hard and they party hard. We’ll have a great line-up of special events where they can share drinks, brainstorm, get inspired, and dance the night away. Among the events we’re planning:
Keynote & Awards Event 
On Saturday: All participants are welcome to the Great Hall on the Wits campus for the conference highlight on Saturday evening, November 18. We’ll start with a reception and drinks, and then we’ll sit down for a keynote address by the extraordinary Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics (and a huge fan of investigative journalism). Next come the awards: GIJN will announce the remarkable winners of the Global Shining Light Award, honored for gutsy investigative reporting in developing and transitioning countries under duress or threat.


Note: Deadline for submissions was May 15, 2017, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5). Submissions are now closed. Every two years, the Global Investigative Journalism Network presents the Global Shining Light Award, a unique award which honors investigative journalism in a developing or transitioning country, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions. The winner receives an honorary plaque, US$2,000, and a trip to the 2017 Global Investigative Journalism Conference to accept the award in front of hundreds of their colleagues from around the world. Note: Deadline for submissions is May 15, 2017, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5), for stories published or broadcast between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.

Visa Information

Requirements for visitors’ visas differ from country to country. Be sure to review whether you need a visa to enter South Africa. If your country is not listed as a visa exempt country, you should make inquiries at your nearest South African embassy. Details of visa applications can be found here.  
Documents Required for a Visa

A passport or travel document valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit
Your passport must have at least TWO unused pages for entry / departure endorsements
A completed Form BI-84 (application for a visa)
Payment of the prescribed fee
A yellow-fever vaccination certificate (if required)
Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit
Two color passport photographs
A return or onward ticket if you are traveling by air
Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa in the form of:

Bank statements/Salary advances
Undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa
Cash available (including credit cards and travelers’ cheques)

Exempt Countries
Any citizen who holds a national passport from one of the following countries does not need a special visa to visit South Africa, for an intended stay of 90 days or less:

African Union Laissez Passer
Chile (only ordinary passport holders)
Czech Republic
Germany (except in diplomatic staff due to assume duty at the Embassy and Consulates of Germany in SA)
Namibia (only ordinary passport holders 90 days per annum)
San Marino
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Tanzania (90 days per annum)
Trinidad & Tobago (only ordinary passport holders)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (only ordinary passport holders)
British Islands Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man.

Tourist Information

Johannesburg is one of the largest cities in Africa, with more than 4.4 million people calling this bustling metropolis home. Joburg, or Jozi as some prefer to call it, offers visitors a unique and diverse array of experience. Some call Joburg Africa’s most exciting city, with a style, energy and enthusiasm all its own. The best guide to the city is Johannesburg in Your Pocket, which is free to access online and is also downloadable with regular updates. Their highly-curated selection includes recommendations of the city’s unmissable sights as well as ideas for eating, drinking, shopping and sorts information by neighborhood to help you get the most out of your travel in the city.


Our local host, Wits Journalism, has identified a number of quality hotels in the city and negotiated discounts for attendees. Available group booking codes are listed in descriptions of the hotels below. We expect heavy attendance and rooms will fill up, so book early if you can. Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton (4 stars)
Southern Sun Hyde Park hotel’s 132 deluxe rooms feature a range of amenities, including iPod docks, DVD players, mini bars, and in-room tea and coffee facilities. The hotel has 318 bedrooms consisting of standard single rooms, sharing/double rooms, deluxe rooms, a few suites, and some wheelchair access rooms. 

Guests can also make use of the convenient 18-hour room service, porter service, and wake-up call facility. The hotel is walking distance of the Rosebank Mall and the African Craft Market that offers visiting guests a wide array of shopping and dining options. Prices start from US$140 (R1,800) per night.


The Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC17) is co-hosted and organized by the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Wits Journalism Programme of the University of the Witwatersrand, with the support of programme’s Investigative Journalism Workshop and the University of of the Witwatersrand. This year’s conference incorporates the 12th African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC2017), an annual event hosted by Wits Journalism. The conference is possible because of sponsors large and small, including foundations, news media, NGOs, schools and training centers, and individuals. We raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring talented journalists from around the world to these events, and we are deeply grateful to those who have helped support them. In addition, member organizations of the Global Investigative Journalism Network offer invaluable support in providing speakers, participants, and resources. If you are interested in becoming a conference co-sponsor, please contact us here.