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The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ for short) is a network of more than 290 reporters from across the world. Its investigations, such as the Panama Papers, Offshore Leaks and FinCEN Files, are some of the most well-known exposés on the secrets of the rich and powerful. 

Beyond the data and leaked documents, human accounts are critical to get to the truth and make investigations hit home.

This was especially the case for the ICIJ’S new Trafficking Inc project, a series of investigations into labour and sex trafficking around the globe, based on 300 interviews with victims. This was produced in collaboration with multiple major news organisations such as the Washington PostThe New Yorker, the Guardian, Reuters and NBC News.

In this week's podcast, ICIJ lead reporter Katie McQue takes us into the investigation, sharing insights on working with sensitive sources and the verification tools that made this possible. Social media, for instance, is a vital tool for identifying, and reaching out to, potential victims of human trafficking.

Stay tuned for more details on its new 'boots on the ground' reporting approach, the heavy toll of covering these stories and bringing the human angle out of the investigation. 

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