Transparency Talks

A podcast focused on issues of truth, transparency and trust. Here, people within the CCIJ community talk about their work and lives, explaining what sparked their passion and describing the challenges they’ve overcome along the way.

Welcome to Transparency Talks, our podcast that focuses on issues of truth, transparency, trust and the people within the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism community. During a time when journalists and the very notion of truth are under attack around the world, we believe that hearing these stories and experiences will help people connect with our journalists, be open to their work and gain a sense of our community’s rich diversity.

Sn. 2 Ep. 5: Winston Mwale

In this episode, Waterless podcast host and CCIJ stalwart Winston Mwale talks about his childhood passion for reading, how he realized his dream of becoming a journalist and the many roles he has played in his versatile and impactful career.

Sn. 2 Ep. 4: Lailah Ryklief

Open Up Operations Manager Lailah Ryklief talks about how her diverse background has influenced her professional direction, what being a woman in the field of civic tech has meant to her, and how seriously she takes the responsibility with which she has been entrusted. 

Sn. 2 Ep. 3: Sara Escobar

La cineasta y fotógrafa mexicana independiente Sara Escobar habla sobre su trayectoria profesional, su compromiso por contar historias que muestren la “normalidad” y anormalidad simultáneas del país, cómo ha trabajo por hacer frente al sexismo arraigado y sobre dos colectivos en los que se colabora con otros documentalistas.

Independent Mexican filmmaker and photographer Sara Escobar talks about her professional journey, her commitment to tell stories that show the country’s simultaneous “normality” and abnormality, how she has persisted in the face of entrenched sexism and two collectives in which she is involved with other documentarians.

Sn. 2 Ep. 2: Brezhnev Malaba

Zimbabwean journalist, columnist and editor Breznhev Malaba talks about the origins of his journalistic passions, the reasons behind his pointed language in his columns, how he is operating after being labeled a “subversive” journalist by the country’s government, and a new investigative venture he is embarking on with several colleagues.

Sn. 2 Ep. 1: Winston Mwale

Winston Mwale is a lecturer in journalism, the founder of Africa Brief and the host of the CCIJ podcast “Waterless.” Winston describes his career in journalism as a “dream” and talks about his work on Africa Brief.

Ep 5: Sonja Smith

This week’s guest is CCIJ member and Namibian journalist Sonja Smith. She discusses why she became a journalist, how her career as a columnist at a local newspaper transformed into investigating some of Namibia’s most pressing issues and how her passion for changing the world drives her work.

Ep 4: Khaled Sulaiman

On today’s episode, Jeff talks with Khaled Sulaiman, an Iraqi journalist with an expertise in water and climate change in Iraq. Sulaiman talks about why he tries to humanize his stories and how he draws on his experiences to do so.

Ep 3: Neha Hirve

Today Jeff chats with Neha Hirve. She is a long-term project photographer. Usually based in Sweden, she has moved back to her home country of India because of the pandemic. Herve produces fascinating work around man’s relationship to the natural environment, has a degree in filmmaking and brings that cinematic influence into the photography world.

Ep 2: Vanessa Offiong

We’re very excited to have Vanessa Offiong, a highly accomplished journalist and CCIJ member, here with us today. With host Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, she chats about her unexpected journey into journalism 11 years ago and why she focuses on women and children in her work. 

Ep 1: Raymond Joseph

In the first episode of Transparency Talks, host and Executive Director Jeff Kelly Lowenstein speaks with CCIJ’s South African Hub Director Raymond Joseph discusses his career in journalism, which spans over 45 years. 


Volume Logo
CCIJ logo

In March 2020, Volume co-founder Paul McNally reached out to CCIJ Founder and Executive Director Jeff Kelly Lowenstein around the possibility of working on a podcast.  This led to a conversation with Volume co-founder Roland Perold and CCIJ’s Social Media Head Ruona Meyer.  Originally discussing a single podcast, the combined team eventually came up with the idea of two distinct podcasts: The Waterless and Transparency Talks.  Meyer and Kelly Lowenstein have served as the hosts while McNally has handled the editing.  CCIJ Interns Jane Johnston and Abigail Goldberg-Zelizer have contributed with the music, logos and distribution plans.  Based on an ethos and practice of collaboration, CCIJ is proud to be partnering with Volume on this venture, and see this as the first step in an ongoing relationship.