Thursday October 8th

Opening session

Investigative Journalism under attack

Reporting in many countries is getting more dangerous than ever. Journalists are increasingly harassed and arrested and independent media closed. Even family members of reporters are being arrested, for instance in Azerbaijan and Central Asia. In this panel, five courageous investigative reporters from four continents talk about their harrowing experiences with prosecutions, dirty tricks, and violent attacks. But more than that, they will show that intimidation does not work. All still continue to tell the stories that need to be told. From Mexico to Pakistan, Angola to Malaysia, reporters refuse to be silenced, despite facing kidnappings, death threats, beatings, imprisonment, and harassment.

How to investigate a bank

Part 2

Here’s the inside story of a collaborative investigation that exposed how the Swiss branch of one of the world’s biggest banks, HSBC, profited from doing business with tax dodgers and criminals around the world. Team members talk about how they reconstructed and mined the leaked financial data to find the patterns of wrongdoing that made headlines around the world and triggered official inquiries in several countries. Also: why the French journalists who obtained the files decided to share them with colleagues around the world rather than have their own scoop.


The Migrant files


“The Migrants’ Files” is a consortium of journalists from over 15 European countries. It is coordinated by Journalism++, and is focused on examing the human and financial cost of 15 years of “Fortress Europe.” Award-winning filmmaker Firas Fayyad was twice held by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s fearful intelligence regime for exposing human rights abuses and covering the start of the 2011 “peaceful protests” that turned into civil war. Fayyad offers tips to foreign journalists investigating the trail of Europe’s biggest immigration crisis in decades.


Investigating environmental crime: Illegal logging


From the Amazon to the Transylvanian forest: What are the best ways to investigate illegal deforestation today? This panel will take you through the growing capability of satellite imagery at Skybox and other service providers, combined with and advanced “follow the money” and other reporting techniques.


Reporting on organized crime


Most people think of Hollywood bad guys like Robert DeNiro or Joe Pesci when they think of organized crime. In reality, organized crime is a $2 trillion global business that ties government, business and criminals together. Understanding how organized crime works today is important to seeing its influence in your country. Learn about the latest trends in organized crime and how it is changing its face and blending even more seamlessly into politics and the financial industry.


Revealing Kremlin money


Stephen Grey (UK) and Roman Anin (Russia) set up a multinational team at Reuters to discover the money trail from the taxpayer to Putin’s friends. By combining multiple strategies of data journalism and field research, combing through customs records, corporate archives and the full data-set of two entire Moscow banks, they uncovered billions of dollars of suspicious money flows. www.reuters.com/investigates/section/comrade-capitalism/ )


How to investigate the world bank


ICIJ’s Evicted & Abandoned investigation revealed the hidden toll of projects financed by the planet’s best-known development lender: the World Bank. Over the last decade, projects funded by the bank have cost 3.4 million people their homes, part of their land, or some of their livelihoods, while the bank has regularly violated its own rules for protecting these vulnerable populations.

Covering China: Tips and best Practices

China is now the world’s second largest economy and its actions affect the world. The People’s Republic poses unique challenges for investigative journalists. Here are three perspectives from veteran journalists both inside and outside of China. Liu Yiman of Southern Weekly recently won China’s Reporter of the Year for her coverage of the envrionment. Zhou Wei, a BBC producer in Beijing, has won praise for her investigations into government corruption. And the Financial Times’ Christine Spolar led a data-driven investigation into stock manipulation involving Chinese solar company Hanergy, using reporters in Hong Kong, China and London.

Sustainability Strategies: How To Support Investigative Newsrooms

There are at least 150 nonprofit organizations in over 50 countries doing, teaching, and promoting investigative journalism. The number has more than doubled during the past 15 years. But why do some thrive while others struggle? What are the keys to building and sustaining a nonprofit investigative news organization? Doing great journalism isn’t enough — nonprofits are businesses, and your group’s success will also depend on good management, sound accounting, determined fundraising, and diversified revenue. Here are invaluable tips from veterans in the field, with lessons from both successful nonprofits and for-profits.

Protecting Your Health While Covering Human Tragedy

It’s not just war reporters who need to know about self-care on traumatic assignments. Investigative reporters who work intensively on such topics as migration, human trafficking, and sexual violence are also at risk of finding themselves in trauma trouble. Interviewing victims and witnesses, reviewing records of tragedy, viewing photos and video, and assembling the stories of traumatic events all can have a profound emotional impact. And then there is always some risk of becoming a direct target of harassment, detention or physical violence.

The new cold war

One and a half years after the annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation and the start of the war in Eastern Ukraine, the relations between Moscow and the West have reached a historical post Cold War low. Some observers warn for a New Cold War. “Russia is preparing for a conflict with NATO, and NATO is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia”, the London based think tank European Leadership Network recently stated.

How Can We Better Protect Investigative Journalists?

Investigative journalists experience threats and violence against themselves, their family and colleges. Several press freedom NGO’s and organizations like the Council of Europe have the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity on their agendas. But what strategies are most effective? And what should we do most urgently do to ensure that their member countries stop the persecution and violence against journalists doing their jobs?

Lightning Round: Visualization

Discover visual investigative journalism from around the world in this session. Each participant got 5 minutes to present their project. If anyone spends more time, the session manager will abrubtly be calling the next project to the podium. Be inspired, and join for a fun and inspirational

How to investigate developement issues

In times of shrinking newsrooms and slashed budgets for in-depth reporting, development journalism is at risk. Media outlets tend to resort to “quick fix” stories, with little background on how crises or conflicts came about. How can we reinvigorate investigative reporting on international development topics?