Senior Reporter, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
Karol Ilagan is a Filipino journalist and journalism educator. Since 2008, she has been reporting for and is now co-managing the Editorial Desk of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), a Manila-based investigative nonprofit. Her investigations have revealed health hazards posed by a mining firm in an island-province in the Philippines and irregularities and conflicts of interests in government contracts, election spending reports, and wealth declarations of public officials. From 2011 to 2014, she spearheaded the research and launch of MoneyPolitics.PCIJ.org, a data journalism project of PCIJ. She has also done periodic research on public procurement, fiscal transparency, and access to information in the Philippines. Karol has an MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and currently teaches investigative and data journalism in Philippine universities.
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Doing investigative journalism in the best of times is a challenge -- getting the time to dig, developing reluctant sources, following compex trails. Now add to that a hostile government that shrinks the space for free expression, whose cronies buy up media houses, and whose goons threaten you and your colleagues with lawsuits, prison, and violence. It's happening more and more, with global declines in political rights and civil liberties for the last 13 years, according to Freedom House. How does an investigative reporter -- or an entire newsroom -- cope in a society that is closed, closing or captured? Here are some strategies for staying in business and fighting the good fight, from our resourceful colleagues in Cuba, Hungary, Myanmar, Pakistan, and the Philipppines.
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