How do you make sense of more than a million leaked documents?

The story behind the massive leak of documents revealing the extent to which the world’s wealthy go to avoid and evade tax and New Zealand’s part in the investigations

Bruce Jesson Lecture, Maidment Theatre, Auckland

The second part of the lecture will be about investigative journalism. But before that, I want to use the opportunity of this lecture to talk much more widely, sharing some thoughts about the state of politics in New Zealand today.

Visiting Wikileaks in December 2010

I HAVE had many careful meetings with sources during the last 20 years, but never anything as cautious and mysterious as this. I was heading overseas to meet the WikiLeaks team in the midst of heavy threats from the United States government and more imminent threats of police action.

Wikileaks: the first cables released in New Zealand

These are the first US embassy cables released in New Zealand, in full except for one name being redacted.

Questions frequently asked by journalism students

How can a busy journalist ever have time for investigative work?

I understand that time feels like an insurmountable barrier to ever being able to do investigative work. However after looking at real examples around the world I don’t think time is as important as motivation, creativity and persistence. Journalists who really want to pursue something often find a way.

“Exposing political parties and their strategies”, Global Investigative Journalism Conference, Lillehammer, Norway, September 2008

Unelected political advisers are the most interesting and important part of many political issues, controversies and election campaigns. They can be more influential than the politicians they serve. Yet they usually get away with acting invisibly and avoiding media scrutiny.

Investigating and Exposing

This chapter is about some of the powerful tools an individual can use to dig out useful and important information that exposes wrongdoing and empowers the public. Starting with the story of the research behind my book on anti-environmental public relations, Secrets and Lies, I want to decsribe how a sensible person with time, persistence [...]

Investigating public relations companies

PR is a huge feature of modern politics. Every journalist spends a lot of his or her time coping with and trying to see through PR communications and tactics. However the issue for journalists should not just be surviving PR tactics and spin, but turning the spotlight on it….

“Investigating Intelligence Activities” (speech notes), Global Investigative Journalism Conference, Copenhagen, 26-29 April 2001

Intelligence agencies can appear hopelessly impregnable. The information is inside the walls and we are on the outside. But security is usually more impression than reality. In every government agency (and private companies), no matter how strict the security, the secrets walk in and out of the doors every day as people go to and from work.