The 2013 Joseph Howe Symposium begins Friday, Oct. 25 and continues all day Oct. 26 at the University of King's College in Halifax. Top investigative journalists from across North America will discuss why in-depth reporting still matters in an era of shrinking newsrooms and 140-character tweets.

Traditional investigative journalism has been under assault in North America. Sweeping cutbacks in newsroom budgets, the resulting layoffs and a shift to a 24-hour news cycle have made it harder to pay for the kind of in-depth work that is needed in a healthy democracy.

New ways of paying for and doing investigative work have tried to fill the gap. They are the focus of this weekend’s Joseph Howe Symposium at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Top investigative journalists will address the conference theme, Investigative Journalism: Why it still matters.

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Headlining the Friday night are Glen McGregor of the Ottawa Citizen and Stephen Maher of Postmedia News. They’ll talk about their Michener Award-winning probe into the robocalls affair.

On Saturday morning, the symposium will hear from Susanne Reber, director of digital media with the Centre for Investigative Reporting in California. She’s been the driving force behind a number of major investigations, including into the plight of the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden.

Saturday afternoon will feature Tim Bousquet of the Coast, who investigated the handling of an estate by the former mayor of Halifax. The story won the top investigative prize from the Canadian Association of Journalists and was a finalist for the Michener Award.


The weekend wraps up with a panel that will explore where investigative journalism goes from here.

Friday’s session begins at 7 p.m. Halifax time and Saturday’s at 9:30 a.m. The entire symposium will be live streamed. The live stream will also be archived for later viewing.

A team of King’s students will live tweet the entire event, using the hashtag #howe13

The complete schedule is available here.

The Joseph Howe Symposium honours the life and legacy of Howe, a father of both Confederation and free speech. This is the 10th annual event.