Gavin MacFadyen, the director of WikiLeaks and founder of the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) has passed away at the age of 76. The cause of death is not yet known.
WikiLeaks is an organization, along with several other whistleblowers over the past few years, that has blown open details of extreme corruption within the US political system.
Gavin MacFadyen was a hero, and so is Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and many others. It’s amazing how mainstream media can imply that WikiLeaks is a covert operation out to tarnish the reputation of the United States, and millions of citizens simply believe it.
Most of the leaks we’ve seen from WikiLeaks are not at all surprising, and evidence has surfaced regarding corruption within this entire system for years. WikiLeaks just further adds to that evidence and proves it correct.
Whether it be that most politicians are simply walking billboards, rigged elections, corruption in international politics, or the most sensitive state secrets beyond that, Gavin MacFadyen has played a revolutionary role and won’t be forgotten.
Because of him, millions of people now know that the term “national security” has been used to justify keeping secrets (read more about the Black Budget here), a tool used to prevent the exposure of what is really happening (because it’s wrong), and this is the passion that currently drives others to follow in Gavin’s footsteps in the quest for total transparency.
We must see the truth first in order to transform from it.
His organization, the CIJ, has helped break several major stories and has trained a number of prominent journalists.
Susan Benn released this statement on behalf of family, friends, and The Board and staff of the CIJ:
Over his lifetime Gavin was a fierce defender of justice and human rights around the world. He was a warm, caring, larger-than-life person who, as many will attest, engendered love and respect from all who met him. His life and how he lived it were completely in sync with the principles that he held dear and practiced as a journalist and educator – to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
Gavin founded the Centre for Investigative Journalism in 2003 to address the worsening media climate for in-depth, sceptical and adversarial reporting. Over the next 13 years he helped train thousands of reporters from over 35 countries, many of which are places where journalism is under attack and those who speak out are at enormous risk. His students have gone on to great things in their careers and can point to Gavin as a mentor and inspiration. He has touched countless lives; his steadfast support for whistleblowers and journalists working in difficult environments has saved and given succor to some of the globe’s most threatened individuals and groups. He was the model of what a journalist should be.
Gavin was one of life’s bravest, most passionate and courageous souls. Prior to CIJ, as an investigative journalist, Gavin produced and directed more than 50 investigative documentaries, many for Granada Television’s World In Action. They covered countries as diverse as Britain, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guyana, South Africa, Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand, the US, Sweden, India and Turkey. He was banned from Apartheid South Africa, the Soviet Union, and attacked by British Neo-Nazis because of his films. The volume and quality of his body of work is unparalleled.
His loyalty to those under attack from powerful forces, particularly whistleblowers and journalistic groups like WikiLeaks, will remain a beacon for years to come.
His commitment to exposing the true nature of power was his life force. He spearheaded the creation of a journalistic landscape which has irrevocably lifted the bar for ethical and hard-hitting reporting. Gavin worked tirelessly to hold power to account. He once said “Good journalism is always political journalism.”
We want to catalogue all the memories and stories that people have about Gavin on our website. Please email GavinTributes@tcij.org 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.
Gavin Macfadyen, beloved director of WikiLeaks, now takes his fists and his fight to battle God. Sock it to him, forever, Gavin. -JA pic.twitter.com/7zyzs1Qxxk
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 23, 2016