Resources for Finding and Using Satellite Images

Satellite images are powerful tools for discovery and analysis, plus provide vivid illustrations. There is real potential for investigative journalists to make greater use of these space images, although they have used them to report on conflicts, climate change, refugees, forest fires, illegal mining, oil spills, deforestation, slavery and many other topics. Imagery, as one expert put it, “is independent of the official line of thinking.”

Among other benefits, images are great for showing change over time, such as retreating shorelines, growing islands or lost vegetation. Examining images can complement other research, possibly providing corroborating evidence. This GIJN resource includes ten places to go for pro bono help and free images, including high resolution images.

Tracking Ships at Sea

More than 90,000 commercial ships make up the world’s commercial fleet, their locations closely tracked and the resulting data available for free. GIJN has compiled a comprehensive list of resources to track ships (including big yachts and fishing boats). It’s possible to learn where ships came from and where they are going in near real time. Also, you can research ship owners, get information about the ships and see pictures of them. Tools also exist to follow the movements of the cargo containers they carry.

Migration Reporting: Sources, Guidelines, Contests

With an estimated 257 million migrants in the world, migration has emerged as one of the most contentious national and international issues. GIJN has gathered resources on this topic, including:

Useful sources of factual information
Reporting guidelines and media criticism
Information on journalism prizes (and the winners) concerning migration
Examples of recent and varied stories

See also GIJN’s resource page on human trafficking. And a GIJN guide to reporting on human trafficking in the Arab Gulf states.

Asset Disclosure


Income and asset disclosures by public officials, now mandated in some 160 countries, can play a key role in investigations of corruption and public accountability. By definition, these filings don’t reveal hidden wealth, but they can be catalysts for research. The unveiling of false statements by officials has at times led to political scandals. Disclosure legislation generally requires that a specific range of public officials (such as members of parliament, heads of state, and cabinet members) declare their financial and business interests. The laws vary greatly in the detail required, how frequently the reporting must occur, whether they apply to more than federal officials and whether compliance is monitored.

Mobile Journalism Guide: How To Get Your Mojo Workin’

Mojo Workin’ is a GIJN column about creating stories using mobile devices. Our expert is Ivo Burum, an Australian-based journalist and award-winning television, writer, director, executive producer with more than 30 years of experience. Burum has been a regular speaker at GIJN conferences and runs a website, SmartMojo. At the IJAsia18 conference, Burum presented MOJO Unpacked – the 20 Most Asked Questions. Mojo Workin’: Developing And Producing on a Smart Phone (Part 1) This column includes tips on developing your story idea and sharpening your focus on story structure, character and shots coverage (также на русском).