The Wits Justice Project (WJP) is a programme of the Journalism Department at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa.
The WJP explores new notions of journalism and social responsibility by bringing together a rare combination of investigative reporting, education, law, and advocacy. In its work, it is pushing the boundaries of journalism, encouraging reporters to tackle human rights issues and makes use not just of publication, but of the courts and partnerships with activists and advocates. This is exploratory work at the cutting edge of activist public service journalism.
How we work
The WJP uses journalism, law, research, education and advocacy to expose miscarriages of justice and abuse in the criminal justice system. While not abandoning the core journalistic values of objectivity, fairness and accuracy, we are pioneering “transparent activism” to promote the foundational values enshrined in the South African Constitution and in international and human rights law.
Our goal, as an independent, non-partisan organization, operating in both the academic and civil society space, is to improve the criminal justice system in South Africa. We use the results of our investigative journalism to inform and uplift our efforts in changing public discourse and the policy environment. We use our credibility and access to bring together relevant – but oftentimes disparate and disengaged – stakeholders to search for solutions to systemic breakdowns along the criminal justice continuum.
Our editorial guidelines
The WJP editorial guidelines were developed to protect our journalists and uphold the integrity of our work. As journalists working in South Africa, the members of the WJP are bound by the South African Press Code. The WJP editorial guidelines are there to reinforce the ethical standards by which we work. You can read our editorial guidelines here
Our annual reports
Read our 2013 annual report here
Read our 2014 annual report here
Read our 2015 annual report here
Paul McNally, MTN Radio Awards, 3 awards: News and Actuality Presenter (community and campus radio), Best News and Actuality Show (The Science Inside), and Best Radio Documentary for his story Farouk Meyer and Oscar Pistorius
WJP awarded gold at the Making All Voices Count Global Innovation Competition, for the Citizen Justice Network project
Carolyn Raphaely, Standard Bank Sikuvile Award 2014 runner-up for her story Paraplegics Hellish Ordeal in Prison
The WJP was awarded Wits University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Academic Citizenship Team Award in October 2013.
Paul McNally won the Webber Wentzel award for Legal Journalist of the Year (Radio) for his story Drug withdrawal in remand detention, which aired on Thetha FM (100.6)
Ruth Hopkins, Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist of the Year (Print) for:
Carolyn Raphaely, Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist of the Year, runner-up (Print) for:
Carolyn Raphaely, Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist of the Year (Print) for:
Click here to visit our regularly updated blog.
Wits Journalism Department: 011 717 4028
011 717 4679
011 717 4087
011 717 4684