Monday, August 18, 2014

100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World

Silverfish Public Talk by Anya Schiffri

GLOBAL MUCKRACKING is now available at Silverfish Books for RM77.90 only)

Topic: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World
Time and Date: 5:30pm on Saturday, 6 September, 2014
Venue: Silverfish Books, 28-1, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: +603-228 448 37 (email:

This is an open event. (We expect a good turn out, so please RSVP by email or telephone, to tell us how many will be coming.)

About the speaker

Anya Schiffrin is the editor of the soon to be published (August 2014) book: Global Muckracking -- 100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World (New Press, 256 pgs, ISBN: 978-1-59558-973-6).

She is the director of the media and communications program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She spent ten years working overseas as a journalist in Europe and Asia. She is also the editor of Bad News: How America’s Business Press Missed the Story of the Century and a co-editor, with Eamon Kircher-Allen, of From Cairo to Wall Street: Voices from the Global Spring (all published by The New Press). She is married and lives in New York City.

Other speakers

Ying Chan is journalism professor and director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at The University of Hong Kong. She has worked as a journalist in New York City for 23 years and has edited six books on the media in China.

Anton Harber was founder-editor of the anti-apartheid newspaper the Weekly Mail (now the Mail & Guardian). He is now Caxton Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, chair of the Freedom of Expression Institute, a board member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, writes a column in Business Day, and is the author of several books.

About Anya Schiffri's work

This (Global Muckracking) is no mere collection of exposés. It is a global look at the 20th-century writers who have dared to uncover stories of injustice and abuse. (Kirkus Review).

Anya Schiffrin (Media and Communications/Columbia Univ.; editor: Bad News: How America’s Business Press Missed the Story of the Century, 2011, etc.) literally dug through boxes of articles that disintegrated in her hands. Many of the included contributors suffered imprisonment or died at the hands of those they exposed. “This book is a collection of pieces that launched campaigns, exposed military atrocities, and called for justice for the downtrodden and the colonized,” writes the author. Each article includes an introduction and background information by carefully chosen journalists or activists well-informed and often deeply involved in the subject. The articles are especially noteworthy since the problems are indeed global, from the smallest villages in Africa to India, Colombia and New Zealand. Over the decades, a host of different writers have covered the same situations again and again. Schiffrin shows writings that span the entire 20th century, examining such situations as labour abuse, which has been evident in dozens of different locales across the world. Among the other topics are anti-colonialism, corruption, oil and mining, food shortages and famine, and military and police. What factors are required for these exposés to be effective? The author suggests that local interest and elite support is vital, as well as social movements pushing for reform; most importantly, wide media coverage brings the situation to the attention of the world. The collection begins with a 1904 article by E.D. Morel (introduced by Adam Hochschild), and other important contributors include Robin Hyde, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Alma Guillermoprieto and Christian Parenti.

The incredible amount of work that Schiffrin put into the selection of the articles and those who explain them makes this a top-notch anthology of significant journalism.