The IJB’s research activities include systematic investigations intended to improve journalistic techniques and develop principles and knowledge about investigative journalism. We also work to develop and publish knowledge, facts, and ideas on matters of public interest that enlighten, inform and generate important discussions.

By working on high-impact, multidisciplinary projects, students learn public advocacy, core journalism and ethical reporting skills. Broader public interest is also served by in-depth, contextualized examinations of important issues.

The IJB was envisioned by Robert Cribb, award-winning investigative reporter at the Toronto Star and the Bureau’s founding director. It is built on a decade of experimenting with a model to bridge the investigative journalism classroom with the newsroom. That pioneering work has resulted in dozens of major investigations from student-led projects moving onto newspaper front pages and television screens over the past decade.

The Bureau works in partnership with major media organizations in Canada, the United States and overseas, as well as with teaching programs throughout the world. IJB’s investigative reporting will be integrated with Dalla Lana’s Journalism and Health Advocacy Program, led by Robert Steiner, an award-winning journalist and founding director of the Fellowship in Global Journalism. It is part of the school’s belief that health professionals and scientists need journalism skills in order to generate research, knowledge and impact on matters of critical importance.

Journalistic standards

The IJB adheres to the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Ethics Guidelines. These guidelines help inform the work we do and cover key journalistic principles including accountability, accuracy, fairness, independence and transparency, among others. The full guidelines can be found here.

Editorial independence

The IJB retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. News coverage decisions and sources of revenue are distinct and separate. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Funders

The Investigative Journalism Bureau is supported by Toronto business executive and investigative journalism aficionado Gerry Gotfrit. The funding will support research, education, and knowledge translation activities in public health and health system journalism, and in cross-discipline topics and themes.

The IJB has also received support from Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union and its largest media union. Unifor will support two paid summer intern roles at the IJB for each of five years.

Donor transparency

The IJB follows the University of Toronto’s guidelines for donor transparency, which can be found here.

Any donations the IJB receives are used to further our mission of producing high-impact investigative journalism while simultaneously training the next generation of investigative journalists. Funds can go to our general operating budget as well as directly finance our projects.

We chose which issues we want to investigate independently from our funders. Donors have no say in editorial content or process.

As a general policy, donors are acknowledged by the IJB for their donations. We recognize some donors may not wish to be publicly recognized for privacy reasons. We respect these decisions and will review such requests on a case-by-case basis.

The IJB is one of three Canadian members of the Institute for Nonprofit News, which is a body of more than 300 non-profit newsrooms across the globe. Members must adhere to strict standards of editorial independence and financial transparency. To learn more about the INN, click on their logo:

Frequently asked questions

Experiences

“I took part in Rob’s investigative journalism class and it was by far the most rewarding experience of my time at school. It’s there where I first realized that political, policy, and public-interest reporting is what really gets my blood boiling. Rob and the class taught me patience, determination, professionalism, and the value of cutting through the noise that authority figures tend to throw your way, especially when you’re doing work and asking questions that you’re entitled to be asking on the public’s behalf. The model of collaborating with other students and media outlets makes you realize that the most important outcome truly is the story. In short, it allows you to contribute to something greater than yourself.”

Palak Mangat, online reporter with The Hill Times

“With an investigation project like the one we took up in Rob’s class, I got to be surrounded by peers which gave me an opportunity to learn and expand on my own skills while hopefully helping others with whatever expertise I had as well. Having the knowledge that Rob and my peers gave me helped me realize that no matter how nose-deep I am into a project, there is always a way to innovate my reporting and writing process.”

Urbi Khan, Ryerson School of Journalism student class of 2020 and freelance journalist

“Collaborations between students and professional journalists combine resources, knowledge and inquisiveness in a way that extends the reach and scope of investigations unlike any other method in the industry. Having worked as part of multiple collaboration teams both as a student and later a professional I can say with absolute certainty the experience is always mutually beneficial for both groups. Gone are the days of reporters working in silos and outlets and institutions ignoring the opportunities they can offer each other. Collaborations are how this industry will not only survive, but thrive in a time when there has never been such a dearth of financial support and such a dire need to shine a light on matters of global public interest.”

Emma Jarratt, Ryerson School of Journalism class of 2014, former associate producer at CTV W5 and freelance journalist

“Working under Rob on large-scale investigations is a different kind of journalism altogether––it was the first time in my journalism career I felt I was doing something real. Not only do you get to learn from industry leaders how to uncover stories that truly change lives, but you get to work alongside them as peers to do it. I remember during our national, award-winning investigation Rob said that I will remember this work for the rest of your life. He wasn’t kidding.”

Benjamin Hargreaves, Ryerson School of Journalism class of 2020 and documentary filmmaker

“The project we put together is the type of meaningful, public interest reporting I never dreamed I’d be able to accomplish in my entire career, let alone as a student. Within days of publication, the provincial government agreed to take action it had delayed for years. The project also opened doors for me to get a summer internship, then my first full-time job, and now a career telling these types of stories. Without a doubt, this program changed the course of my life for the better.”

Emma McIntosh, Ryerson School of Journalism class of 2018 and a reporter at the National Observer

“Working in partnership with the Investigative Journalism Bureau has been the highlight of my time in journalism school. Not only was I able to work alongside nationally-renowned reporters and editors, but I was also given the unique opportunity to collaborate with other student journalists from some of the most reputable journalism institutions across North America. This cross-border partnership just emphasized how much of an impact our work has on a global scale, and it was the first time in my short career that I felt I had the power to change lives. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Cassandra Dubiel, Ryerson journalism student and freelance journalist