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Who are ICIJ’s Members?

A look at the data on ICIJ’s 158 member journalists: which part of world they work in, where they work, and the gender ratio of our membership.

The world’s oldest network of investigative reporters, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), was created in 1997 as a project of the Center for Public Integrity. The intention of founders Chuck Lewis and Bill Kovach was to create a collaborative, cross-border network of talented investigative reporters.

“The core of ICIJ’s mission is to produce long-form investigative reporting, but we are much more than that,” says current director, Gerard Ryle.

“We are collectively trying to improve and preserve investigative reporting at a time of great stress for the industry. Our founders were way ahead of their time when they saw the need for ICIJ because as bad as things were then in the industry, they are worse now.”

As part of a recent two-week internship I learned about the history of ICIJ and was asked to collect and analyze data on the current 158 ICIJ reporters in the network across 64 countries.

I found some interesting statistics, beginning with the geographic location of the membership:

  • 22 percent of the members come from Western Europe;
  • 18 percent from North America;
  • 13 percent from Africa;
  • 13 percent from Asia;
  • 12 percent from South America;
  • 11 percent from Eastern Europe;
  • 4 percent from Central America;
  • 4 percent from Oceania;
  • 4 percent from the Middle East.

When it comes to gender breakdown of the ICIJ membership:

  • 41 of the members (26 percent) are female;
  • 117 of the members (74 percent) are male.

In which type of news outlets do ICIJ members work?

  • About 18 percent of ICIJ’s members work for an investigative center, a media source practically unheard of just decades  ago;
  • 55 percent of the reporters work for print outlets;
  • 8 percent work for TV;
  • 4 percent work for radio;
  • 3 percent work for online outlets;
  • 3 percent work for NGOs;
  • 9 percent work for a combination of the various forms of media.

What role do ICIJ journalists play in their newsrooms?

  • 47 percent are editors;
  • 39 percent are reporters;
  • 2 percent are news producers.

About 39 percent of members have reported stories for ICIJ projects so far.

Another 41 journalists were added to the ICIJ membership roster in December 2011. What were the ICIJ looking for when they selected this “new wave of talent”?

“We wanted to pick people who are clear leaders in their field, but also we wanted to try and choose future leaders – to encourage them to rise to the top of their profession”, says Ryle.

“We are conscious that there are gaps in our network that we need to keep filling, in particular in parts of Asia and Africa.”

“We want the very best from around the world, from as many places as possible. The wider the network, and the stronger the people, the stronger the organization.”

Membership isn’t necessarily by invitation only: anybody wishing to be considered for membership can contact ICIJ with their CV and clips.

ICIJ is dedicated to ensuring all reports we publish are accurate. If you believe you have found an inaccuracy let us know.