The Global Investigative Journalism network steering committee, who met in Lillehammer in October 2008, has mandated Geneva to host the 6th Global Investigative Journalism Conference. We have already started to work hard and are very excited to welcome you all at the Lake Leman, from Thursday, 22nd April to Sunday, 25th April 2010.
You will see for yourselves how charming and beautiful Geneva can be. Located on the shores of the biggest sweet water lake in Europe, Geneva lies at the heart of a magnificent landscape between the Alps and the Lake. A small city that can seem like a capital city, Geneva offers a dynamic cultural life and vibrant nightlife.
However, Geneva is also the heart of Europe, at the crossroads of Latin and Germanic cultures, with more than 44% of the population originating from a foreign country. It has a long tradition of being the headquarters of the UN and many other international organisations.
An accessible city, Geneva encompasses a convenient airport that opens onto all continents and is a hub for numerous low cost airline companies. There are all kinds of hotels available and we will, of course, assist you in finding accommodation that fits your budget.
Needless to say, we have already started to work on our programme, of which a first draft will be made available to you online, in October. Due to general demand, a particular focus will be placed on banking and financial issues. How to access the mysterious Swiss banking system? How to investigate the banking institutions, here in Switzerland? We are working to create a varied platform, with first class panelists.
Some of you have also expressed the wish to take advantage of Switzerland being the headquarters of some of the largest international sports organisations and the IOC, to look into furthering contacts and means of research in investigating sports stories. This is going to be one of our focuses during the conference, especially as we will be just four months from the South Africa World Cup. And as you all know, our profession is going through a very hard time. Obviously, we will devote as many forces as we can to offer panels regarding new business models for investigative reporters. We are of course expecting your panel propositions, ideas and wishes.
As promised, and as soon as we can, we will inform you further on the grants that will be available for registration. Our objective is to secure 100 grants and we hope to make it, despite the crisis that is affecting many of us and our sponsors. The good news is that we already have about 70 promised grants and we are confident that our partners will stick to their words.
With a lot of excitement, we are looking forward to welcoming you all in Geneva, in 2010.