Critical, independent and investigative media is the lifeblood of any democracy

– Nelson Mandela, 1992


There is a long tradition of investigative journalism in South Africa. Back in the 1950s Drum magazine was busy investigating prison and farm labour conditions; exposes of government corruption followed, then came the Vlakplaas death squads revealed by Vrye Weekblad and the financing of sectarian violence exposed by the Weekly Mail. More recently there has been the now infamous arms deal, financial scams, drunken and corrupt politicians, hospital deaths.

Wits Journalism aims to keep alive this fine tradition of South African journalism which probes, questions and exposes what those in authority want hidden.


Study Investigative Journalism


The investigative journalism course can be taken as a short course or as part of a Masters.

The course is led by experienced professionals. This course will take you through the history, ethics, tools and practice of investigative reporting. It includes data journalism, research, storytelling, planning and organising your investigation and using access to information laws. Participants will undertake an investigation as part of the course.


Masters in Investigative Journalism


Students can take our MA in Journalism and Media Studies (Investigative Reporting). The course requirements are to study Reading the Media (core MA course), the course in Investigative Journalism (outlined above), one other course of choice, and a Research Report related to Investigative Reporting.

Applications and queries:


The African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC)


AIJC is an intensive three-day investigative journalism conference held in late October / early November every year, with keynote speakers from around the globe and experienced African and South African journalists teaching investigative skills in lectures, workshops and networking events.

Speakers have included Sam Sole, Pauli van Wyk, Ferial Haffajee, Charlie Beckett, Cheryl W. Thompson, Andrew Jennings, Gunther Wallraf, Brant Houston, Sheila Coronel, Sainath Palagummi, Stephen Grey, Felicity Lawrence, John Vidal, Ken Silverstein, Heather Brooke, Tim Butcher, Ying Chan, Alex Kotlowitz, David Barstow, Raj Bairoliya, Daneil Öhman, Arnaud Dressen, Tom Burgis, Jock McCulloch, Anya Schiffrin, and more.

View the AIJC website for more information. There are bursaries available for SA journalism students and those who work for community newspapers to attend each year.


Fellowships, grants and awards


With the support of The Valley Trust Wits Journalism runs the annual Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Journalism.

The Trust’s generosity also makes R350 000 available each year for grants to finance investigative projects which would not otherwise get into print.




Please research the site thoroughly before asking for more information about course content, course eligibility and fees. For more information about the investigative journalism course, write to Regarding registration, fees and course dates, contact Makane Phiri on 011 717 4028 or