Friday October 9th

Telia Sonera: How to track corruption across borders

This case study in international cooperation was a collaboration between Swedish Public TV and numerous journalists abroad, revealing how telecom giant Telia Sonera bribed hard-line dictatorships to get access to new virgin markets in Eurasia. Millions of dollars were paid to front companies for the dictators families from Telia Sonera and their competitors. To date more than one billion dollars have been traced to the deals — one of the biggest corruption cases in history now investigated by police in over ten countries.

How To Expose a Tax Haven

It is a story that shook Europe. LuxLeaks exposed in a systematic way how Luxembourg operates as a tax haven in the heart of the continent helping multinational companies avoid billions of dollars in taxes. Team members explain how with the help of digital tools, data mining, and tax experts they transformed 28,000 pages of nearly incomprehensible accountancy lingo into stories that triggered a “tax storm” in Europe and beyond.

How to handle documents

Documents have long been a mainstay of the best investigative reporting around the world. This session will explore how to find obscure reports and documents on persons, institutions, companies and programs – valuable information that is often otherwise unattainable. It will also offer practical guidelines on how to analyze documents and reports to unleash their full investigative power.

Investigating in the Middle East: Focus on ISIS/Daesh

A panel discussion with focus on the latest developments in the Middle East. How are journalists able to find reliable sources when investigating extremist groups such as ISIS/Daesh?
How can reporters increase their knowledge about ISIS/Daesh? What stories are not being told, now that refugees and spectacular acts of violence are dominating the news?

TV investigations in the Arab world

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), the region’s leading media support organization promoting “accountability journalism” among a new generation of journalists, media professors and students, has over the past year produced edge-cutting TV investigations. One has been aired on Al Jazeera English documenting continued abuse inside Tunisian jails four years after the revolution toppled the dictatorship of Zine El Abdine Ben Ali. Another is being readied for BBC Arabic. And the rest have been aired on leading Arab broadcasters. In this session, a group of ARIJEANS take you on a journey through their compelling investigations, share tools of the trade, discuss cultivation of sources and dangers of going under-cover to document abuses in a region where media repression and muzzling of free speech continues unabated.

Whats happening in Russia

It’s the big bear in the room. Russia is one of the most powerful countries on earth and yet it is also one of the least understood. Find out from three long-time reporters from Russia exactly what is happening in that country. How much control does Putin really exercise and what are his plans for media and his neighbors? Can independent media really survive?

Working with whistleblowers

Whistle Blowers are becoming increasingly important sources for investigative journalists. But protection by journalists and esteem in society for whistleblowers do not reflect that importance. Journalists often thrive and build a reputation based on material coming from whistleblowers. But in many cases whistleblowers, when identified, lead miserable lives after they have performed their duty for society. Loss of job opportunities, endless litigation, financial depravation, depression and disrupted family life, leading to isolation or even divorce. These are common “rewards” for whistleblowers.

How to turn your investigation into a game

Pirate Fishing is a groundbreaking interactive web game that allows users to act as journalists exposing the multi-million dollar illegal fishing trade affecting West Africa’s poorest people. Developed by Italy’s Altera Studio team and Al Jazeera, the project is set in Sierra Leone, where journalists film South Korean trawlers fishing illegally in protected areas and stealing fish from local fishermen.

How to investigate arms trade

Two of the central people behind exposing South Africa’s big arms and corruption scandal share their insights. They are joined by Kristoffer Egeberg from Norway’s daily Dagbladet, who investigated how the Norwegian Defence Ministry illegally sold an entire fleet of naval ships to paramilitary forces in Nigeria. Egeberg this year won SKUP’s top award for his reporting on the story. Paul Holden and Andrew Feinstein played important roles in exposing the South Africa’s big arms and corruption scandal.

How other investigators do it

Journalists are part of a larger ecosystem of investigators who track and document wrongdoing. We’re familiar with the investigative journalist’s toolkit. But how do other investigators prove wrongdoing? And can journalists learn from them? Learn from Joe Davidson, a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Jim Mintz will share tips from the world of private investigators and Anne Koch Director of Europe And Central Asia for Transparency International.

Journalists and programmers: A Crucial partnership

Journalists and programmers can do magic together. Meet members of data teams who have worked together in successful investigations. They will talk in very practical terms about the key aspects of their relationship; the problems they solve; the different and complementary mindsets and skills they bring to an investigation; and the expectations they have of each other. Learn how the award-winning data investigation Swiss Leaks could not have been possible without multidisciplinary teams and more.

Follow the money 1

Follow the money 2

For decades corrupt politicians, shady businessmen, and big corporations have used offshore tax heavens to hide ownership and shift profits, depriving local economies of millions in tax revenues. In the past, following money across borders and trying to discover who was behind offshores was difficult and expensive. But reporters have worked hard reporting this issue and have frequently found clever ways to pierce the veil of secrecy.

Reporting on Money Laundring

Money laundering is not only one of the hardest financial crimes to prove, it’s also one of the toughest stories to investigate. But it is a crime you will find everywhere in the world. What are the signs of money laundering and how do you report on it? What makes something money laundering? Here’s a look at some of the most significant cases proven by journalists.

Data Track: Best Practices for Using Data in News Stories

Journalists around the world are harnessing the power of data journalism for news. In this session, we’ll take a global tour of the latest in investigative and data-based stories, highlighting innovations in analysis and presentation. We’ll also offer practical tips to help you make your next data-driven story memorable and bulletproof.

Google Search Methods – How To Find What You Didn’t Know Existed

Google is a remarkable tool with incredible capability, but it’s a system with a great deal of depth that’s not widely understood. In this session, Daniel Russel will demonstrate many different methods and techniques for finding things you didn’t think could be found, as well as discussing some of the strategies you can use for online investigations in the years ahead.

Metadata and mobile spying

Snowden revealed how the American and British intelligence services systematically intercept metadata from the world’s population. Meanwhile, the Danish project #Sporet (in English #Tracked) made the debate concrete and demonstrated how detailed one can identify peoples’ thoughts and living patterns solely by using so-called metadata.

Fundraising your investigation

Despite more than 150 nonprofits engaged in investigative journalism worldwide, most groups are struggling for money. Many fail to apply their own reporting techniques to finding donors and to invest in “development.” There’s money out there, and our field continues to grow. but you need to have a solid strategy and a strong commitment. Here are three experts who can help guide your way: Maria Teresa Ronderos is director of the OSF Program on Independent Media, the largest private donor in international media development. Bridget Gallagher is a leading media fundraiser who has raised millions of dollars from private donors; her clients include GIJN, Internews, and PBS. And Leon Willems of the Global Forum for Media Development will talk about raising funds from governments and other public entities.

Lightning Rounds: My Favourite Datatool

Data journalism on steroids! Some of the best trainers in the world have got five minutes each to present their favourite data tool.

Understanding Global Tax Dodging

How multinational corporations literally turn a profit off taxes. How eliminating the corporate income tax will hurt developing countries (which depend on it).

GIJN Membership Meeting

The Global Investigative Journalism Network, our conference co-host, is a global association of 118 nonprofit organizations in 54 countries dedicated to the support, practice, and promotion of investigative journalism. Now a registered nonprofit with an elected board, GIJN has grown quickly since the secretariat was created in 2012, doubling its membership and drawing journalists to its website from 80 countries each day.

Here in Lillehammer, GIJN is holding its every-two-year membership meeting. There will be a board of directors meeting, with reports by the board chair and executive director. That will be followed by a discussion among membership organizations, including presentations on where to hold the next global conference, GIJC17.