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RIP Gavin MacFadyen, 1940-2016

We will keep up the fight

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-12-05-01-pmCourage founding Trustee and Centre for Investigative Journalism founder and director Gavin MacFadyen has passed away at the age of 76, after a few months of illness.

Gavin devoted his life to independent, investigative journalism, exposing truths, challenging power and championing truthtellers at every turn. Gavin championed the rights and principles of the persecuted, even when it was controversial to do so. He supported WikiLeaks when it was targeted by US prosecutors and he cofounded Courage, to assist those most in danger for shining a light on the powerful.

Gavin has been a vital journalistic voice for decades: In the 70s, he began producing documentaries covering a wide range of subjects, from the CIA and Watergate to the Iraqi arms trade. He was a journalism professor at Goldsmith’s University of London. In 2003, MacFadyen co-founded the Centre for Investigative Journalism, focused on teaching and advancing hard-hitting, in-depth reporting. The Centre is asking those who knew him to email “with your thoughts, stories, anecdotes, photos, videos, interviews, and anything else about Gavin that you want to share. Help us celebrate this wonderful, unique, and inspirational human being.”

Courage’s Sarah Harrison, who worked with Gavin at CIJ before she joined WikiLeaks and Courage was founded, said:

As cofounder of Courage, cofounder of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, whistleblower advocate and staunch defender of WikiLeaks, Gavin more than anyone else has been the custodian of British journalism’s conscience over the past 15 years. Gavin believed in revealing the truth and confronting the powerful every chance he got, regardless of received opinion. He stood with those fighting injustice, rather than reporting on them from a distance, dropping feigned objectivity to join battles for human rights.

As a mentor and ally, Gavin is irreplaceable. However he has founded an invaluable tradition at the Centre for Investigative Journalism, paving the way for a generation of journalists to carry out his values, and he has helped support the bravest few making contributions to the public record in founding Courage. We would not be who we are without him, and we will miss him dearly.