The IJB teaches investigative journalism disciplines by involving students as core journalists and contributors to major investigative projects, while undertaking projects in partnership with academic researchers, major media and teaching programs in Canada, the United States and globally. Throughout its three years, the IJB has generated truly breakthrough work in both journalism and education.
Get our latest (2022/2023) impact report
In less than three years, the IJB’s journalism has been honoured with six prestigious national and international journalism awards.
- We were recently awarded the 2023 CAJ Data Journalism Award for our series “Suspended.” The series was also nominated for a CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism — the second IJB nomination for one of Canada’s top journalism prizes since our inception three years ago.
- Founding donor Gerry Gotfrit received an Arbor Award from the University of Toronto in recognition of his impactful support for the IJB. It was celebrated earlier this year at a gala event at the University of Toronto hosted by Dalla Lana dean Steini Brown to celebrate the IJB and its accomplishments at the Star.
- Last year, the IJB was honoured with the The Data-Driven Reporting Project award, a prestigious U.S.-based prize honouring intrepid reporting that utilizes data and serves underrepresented communities. Only two Canadian outlets received the award — which came with a $100,000 USD prize. The prize money is being used to conduct a unique and extensive investigation into Ontario’s healthcare system.
- Our series Suspended also had an impact at Queen’s Park. An MPP tabled a private member’s bill to reform Ontario’s system for suspending licences as a direct result of our investigation. One story in the series led NDP leader Marit Stiles to grill Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney during Question Period based on our reporting, which showed Mulroney’s office had intentionally withheld answers prepared by civil servants to questions we had asked.
- We are about to launch an exciting new database on the IJB’s website that will make available all previous provincial freedom of information requests since 2014. The project, which has taken a year and thousands of dollars to execute, will become a repository of every request for public records made to every provincial ministry, as well as their outcomes. We see it as an invaluable, high-profile, free tool for researchers, journalists, academics, civil society groups and the general public, fostering government transparency and accountability. This will be a legacy project that we will update twice a year. Depending on future resources, we plan to expand this to include other vital public disclosure, including those from police forces, universities and public agencies beyond government. It will benefit anyone seeking documents and data in the public interest.
- We are expanding into documentary work to amplify our print investigations. We recently partnered with a Toronto documentary production company and the CBC’s Documentary Unit to help produce a documentary about Canada’s clinical trials industry. This important new avenue for our reporting promises to bring added reach and impact to what we believe will be a compelling print series.
- We are also expanding into the worlds of podcasting and video. In addition to our regular appearances on daily news podcasts such as This Matters and The Big Story, we have partnered with TVO, which has devoted significant funding and resources to three projects currently underway. The broadcaster has started publishing In Our Heads, a six-part podcast documentary based on our inaugural investigation, Generation Distress. It brings our work to a larger audience, building upon the robust body of our reporting, and breathing new life into this important series. A second podcast series with TVO is underway based on our investigation into medically assisted dying in Canada. TVO has invested heavily in the project, including hiring U.S.-based podcast producer Susanne Reber and a New York music composer who is creating an original soundtrack for the project. Finally, TVO is also working closely with us on another project investigating government mental health services for Indigenous people in Canada. To accompany our print series, TVO will produce a video/audio package. We believe this is an important relationship that is just beginning to flower, and anticipate that they will be a key partner in several of our projects moving forward.
- In September, we’ll be welcoming the second CJF-IJB Black Investigative Journalism Fellow, Mzwandile Poncana. Poncana will join the IJB for six months to work on the IJB’s ongoing investigative projects under the guidance of the bureau’s editors and senior reporters. Our inaugural CJF-IJB Black Investigative Journalism Fellow, Wendy-Ann Clarke, has now joined us as a full-time reporter.
- We continue training early-career journalists in other ways. We’ve had eight interns join us over the last year. Two of them are our new Unifor summer interns, who will be with us until September. These internships, at $13,000, are among the highest paid in the country. It’s been especially gratifying to mentor and train these amazing young journalists so early in their careers. We believe the skills, attitude and commitment to accuracy and in-depth reporting they learn at the IJB will serve them throughout their careers. We’re especially proud that the generous support from donors has enabled us to hire three of our previous interns after their internships ended. Together,we’re building a legacy and quickly becoming a top-choice destination for the best young journalists in the country.
- The IJB and the U of T Faculty of Law just completed the second year of our one-of-a-kind media law externship. The year-long externship brings enterprising young law students under theguidance of IJB Director Robert Cribb, Toronto Star lawyer Emma Carver, and Iris Fischer, the IJB’slawyer and a partner at Blake’s LLP.
- The IJB has submitted a multi-year funding proposal to the Canadian Institute for Health Research. Our scientific advisor, Dan Werb, has graciously volunteered his time and resources to assist us with this application. Should we get it, we will effectively double our budget and reporting power for the next three years, creating exciting opportunities for more collaboration and in-depth investigative projects. We have also recently submitted a multi-year funding proposal to the Connaught Fund. Were we to receive the funding, it would significantly increase the scope and depth of our reporting on Indigenous issues.
In addition to these organizational updates, the IJB continues to publish high-quality investigative journalism that is influencing policy, inspiring debate and informing the public. View our published projects here.