cross-border journalism

Archive for the ‘Blog news’ Category

What I’ve been up to recently

In Blog news on January 14, 2021 at 3:50 am

December 2020: So it’s out – the big #moneytoburn collaboration. It’s the sad tale on how the rush towards green energy fuelled a European market for wood pellets to a level that threatens Estonian forrests. I feel a particular veneration for this team of 16 journalists from 8 newsrooms in 8 countries because I was there from the meeting where they first discussed the story idea and composed the team in February – kindly invited by the Töpfer Foundation. Arena provided a digital working environment to the cross-border team and I had the pleasure of being entrusted a mentoring role to the editorial coordinator, the competent Hazel Sheffield. UPDATE January 2021: Now also published in the Guardian and out there on Twitter where Greta Thunberg commented. Thanks to Hazel for crediting my role as mentor – it was a pleasure.

December 2020: Spoke at the national conference for Ukrainian Investigative Journalism #IJC20.

November 2020: Was Dataharvest Digital 2020 the longest investigative journalism conference ever? Definitely feels like it – after 149 sessions spread over 13 weeks! But participants liked it and kept registring until the last month. Also, the team gained loads of experience and is developing exciting new models of meeting and knowledge sharing in the investigative, collaborative, data, entrepreneurial journalism crowd. Do register for the newsletter to be posted.

November 2020: Spoke at a seminar of the EBU Academy on cross-border collaborative journalism. There I also learnt about the internal network to connect EBU members wishing to do collaborative investigative journalism with other EBU broadcasters. So obvious – a great pleasure to see it happen.

October 2020: 37 students from 21 countries – more than ever before – have joined the Master Investigative Journalism at the University of Gothenburg for a year of work on investigative, data and cross-border journalism. I have the pleasure of being on the teacher’s team and what a great crowd of students! We use cross-border collaboration competences proactively in times of hybrid-teaching with about 3/4 of the class on campus and 1/4 online, so they train project coordination and remote team work as they study (and as we all through the corona-time). In this article by Journalism Institute, we’re doing a first status.

September 2020: 1st of September, we started the Dataharvest Digital and participation is extremely encouraging! The coronavirus prevented us from the annual in-person gathering over 3½ days in Mechelen in May. Instead, we chose to spread the 120+ sessions over three months to avoid parallel sessions. A weekly focus on a topic or a research method makes it easier to navigate the programme. Our first rough stats confirm that this works well: the average of participants per session is significantly higher online (with no parallel sessions) than in Mechelen (with competing sessions in the same time slots). Also, the geographic spread of our participants is much wider, which we’re very happy about: We need all of Europe! At the end of September, we have 447 registered participants, close to the target of 450 we set for the entire online experiment. The other day, we even managed to laugh together online – a challenge highlighted by many journalism trainers teaching online this year! Further, we see local initiatives to gather the Dataharvest Community on local level (Berlin in late September, Amsterdam in early October) – and this is the essence of cross-border collaborative journalism: Being well-rooted at home but thinking across borders! Many lessons learnt to supplement the in-person conferences in the future.

August 2020: Preparing for 13 weeks of online gatherings at Dataharvest Digital. This gives interesting opportunities for digital meeting formats – endlessly curious how it will go! Also preparing for a new group of students from all over the world starting at the Master for Investigative Journalism at Gothenburg University.

June 2020: Dataharvest – the European Investigative Journalism Conference goes fully digital for 2020 due to the health situation. Instead of blocking people’s weekends in front of a screen, we spread our sessions over three months from September to November.

May 2020: A fresh review of my book on cross-border collaborative journalism has been published by Swedish scholar Urban Larssen from Södertörn/Sweden at Nordicom Review. He categorises the book among those working on the future of “journalistic authority” by “rethinking journalism beyond the regular newsroom and beyond national and disciplinary borders”. That’s very precise and very encouraging. Nothing against the “regular newsroom” – on the contrary! But we need to think freely and very precisely about how we work with knowledge sharing and critical thinking in our societies in order to strengthen journalism in this era of liquid media.

April 2020: First online-teaching in times of corona: My usual spring-class with the international journalism course at the Thomas More in Mechelen/Belgium. I keep believing in real life as the best way of teaching and working – but we are journalists and we’ll do our best to surmount difficulties.

February 2020: German Alfred-Töpfer-Foundation in its new European Journalism Programme offered a four day seminar for cross-border journalism in a seminar centre near the Baltic Sea. 15 junior and mid-career journalists from all over Europe gathered, because they want to collaborate across borders. And they do that already – I know, because I’m in their shared chat group. They’ll all meet again for Dataharvest – the European Investigative Journalism Conference in May in Mechelen. Read the rest of this entry »

Interest in cross border journalism sends me on the road

In Blog news on November 9, 2014 at 8:40 am

Speaking about cross border journalism at universities and conferences this autumn brings a lot of travelling. And very interesting discussions. Can a journalistic, methodological approach developed to solve professional challenges contribute also to the scholarly debate? This may be a question for the spring. For now it’s lecturing:

Copenhagen University’s course on Film and Media. Freie Universität Berlin. The International Reporting Course at the Journalism School Thomas More in Mechelen in Belgium.

Also at journalism conferences the method of cross border journalism is presented at in-job-training level, for example at the upcoming Balkan Investigative Network Fellowship meeting in Belgrade.

So in the past ten years we’ve seen the mainstreaming of data journalism in media as well as journalism education and training. Wouldn’t it be great to see the mainstreaming of cross border journalism in the coming years!

Handbook on cross border journalism

In Blog news on July 17, 2014 at 5:26 am

These weeks I’m working over the manuscript for the Danish version of my Handbook on Cross Border Journalism to be published at Forlaget Ajour, specialised in books about Journalism and connected to the Danish School of Journalism.

The target group for the book are journalists and students of journalism. For a more scholarly audience I summarize the method in an article for Journal on Applied Journalism and Media Studies. The aim with this article is not only to present the journalistic methodology of cross border journalism, but also to invite for an interdisciplinary approach to developing it further.

Both article and book are planned for publication this autumn.

Off to Brussels for the Dataharvest conference

In Blog news on May 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm

The Dataharvest+ Conference in Brussels is ready for more than 200 journalists and programmers from the 8th to the 11th of May. Growing again this year!

This is a working conference, where coders and journalists make fresh data available (this year EU-tenders, Farmsubsidy data, European Parliament data and a brand new data catalogue from the EU agencies) – and then cooperate on preparing journalistic stories – not least cross border stories.  We speak about upcoming EU-subjects with the EU-ombudslady Emily O’Reilly and the network of EU-agencies aswell as the officials behind the TED database will be in dialogue with journalists.

The Dataharvest also is an integrated part of my “EU journalism for pioneers” class at Nordic Journalism Centre.



We win the Leipzig Prize for the Freedom and future of the Media

In Blog news on July 16, 2013 at 6:56 am

Working on something as abstract as a European public sphere usually gives people a slightly sleepy expression around the eyes. But hey – now we got an award for doing exactly that!

We – Ides Debruyne and I – win the Leipzig Prize for the Freedom and future of the Media for having founded Journalismfund gives research grants to journalists, who have a story idea and with to do research to follow the story across national borders. Journalismfund then – after a competitive call – can help with the additional costs for travelling, translating and taking time to do good research.

The Media Foundation Leipzig has given this award to impressing journalists and journalist organisations. Previous laureates are Sey Hersh, Anna Politkovskaya, Hans-Martin Tillack, Roberto Saviano, Fabrizio Gatti and Netzwerk Recherche, the German association for investigative journalism. Now we are mentioned alongside these fabulous people.

This year we are laureates alongside Indian Tongam Rina and German Jörg Armbruster and Martin Durm.

Though Ides and I get the award, our thanks go to a lot of other people too. Cross-border reporting in its character is based upon cooperation with others.

Here we have to say thank you to the family of Pascal Decroos and the board of the Journalismfund/Pascal Decroos Foundation, who supported the idea for since 2008.

And we say thank you to’s advisory board with representatives from the investigative journalism communities around Europe and our peer review jury. And we say thank you to all the journalists, who are ready  to do their bright and brave work.

Right now Ides and I enjoy this honour intensely and are grateful to the Leipzig Media Foundation for this encouragement. And the next step we will do our best to further develop the idea of cross-border reporting and support to all the great journalists, who with their comitment and courage are developing quality journalism in Europe these years.

Reactions – Germany and BelgiumEurope

Suggestion: Crossborder reporting for future EU journalism

In Blog news on June 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I was invited to speak at the annual media fair Medienforum in Köln in Germany on June 7th 2013 – on the future of EU journalism: Wege aus der Öffentlichkeitskrise: Europa und die Medien. The moderator noted that there was no question mark at the end of the headline of the debate – so we had to offer solutions!

Suggested crossborder reporting as carried out by ICIJ in the Offshore Leaks stories and as supported by and others and presented at places like the Dataharvest Conference or the Global Investigative Journalism Conference.

Crossborder reporting? Nobody knew. Steueroasen? Of course! In other words, our method is gaining ground. And yes, I do believe that quality journalism is a way out of the crisis. The EU appears to be growing up, now journalism about it has to grow up too. And is well on the way, if I look at all the important stories carried out by grantees.

Bri taler

Other speakers on the panel were Georgios Pappas, a Greek correspondent in Berlin, Mayte Peters, chairperson at Publixphere, Jörg  Schönenborn, editor-in-chief, WDR, Cologn, Rainer Wieland, vice-president European Parliament, moderated by Knut Pries, Brussels correspondent at Funke Media Group.

Hele panelet (640x366)

Next Dataharvest planned for May 2014

In Blog news on June 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm

The 2013 Dataharvest Conference for investigative and datajournalism in Europe this year had 156 journalists and programmers from all over Europe participating. Catch up with who was there on the 2013 programme.

If you missed it, read the wrap up and find presentations here.

If you want to stay in touch and keep colleagues posted about your work, join the FB Dataharvest group – that’s the meeting place for the time being.

#DataHarvest14 scheduled for May 9-10 2014 in Brussels. Stay in touch via the FB group or the mailinglist for precise date, program, etc.

And thanks once again to everyone all who participated and contributed!

#Dataharvest13 upcoming! Join us

In Blog news, Projects on March 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm


Want to meet the director of the European Ombudsman (half of the cases there concern transparency) – and want to meet two lawyers, who are among those who win cases for more transparency at the European Court of Justice?

Then come to Brussels to the Dataharvest.

Of course you can also meet investigative journalisms grand old in Europe, David Leigh, investigative editor at the Guardian. He recently got an –  indirect – award for his work: The OECD experts praised his and his colleagues’ work in their big report about tax evasion Adressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (page 13).

And then there will be lots of fresh data and good coders to help you make stories out of them. For example the award winning journalist Nils Mulvad @nmulvad (European journalist of the year 2006) will help with fresh Farmsubsidy data, and Friedrich Lindenberg from the Open Knowledge Foundation/Der Spiegel @pudo.

Interested in research in social media? Meet Paul Myers, researcher at the BBC and excellent speaker and trainer @researchclinik. Interested in combining a lot of new research methods? Meet Paul Bradshaw from Birmingham University @paulbradshaw. Meet Per Anders Johansen from Norway, who makes a living on wobbing for excellent stories.

And many, many others! Have a look at the program (as of today – to be updated further).

There will be four tracks:

  • Farmsubsidy – EU spending on agricultural policy @farmsubsidy
  • Crossborder – reporting following the story, not the national borders
  • Wobbing – using freedom of information legislation to get good, original information for journalistic work  @wobbing_europe
  • Data – cooperating with coders to make better journalism

Much looking forward to seeing you there!

The next generation

In Blog news on November 8, 2012 at 10:28 am

I have the honour of passing on our craft to the next generation of journalists as a teacher at Roskilde University.

The Department of Journalism and the Centre for News Research are part of CBIT, the Institute for Communication, Business and Information Technology.

Follow our day-to-day work on Twitter @RUCjournalistik.

Good news today – just to mention an example: All students of RUC have gotten a training-job, which is an integrated part of their studies. However every year there is a panic to get one of the coveted traing-jobs. Congrats!

Money for journalistic research

In Blog news on September 3, 2012 at 7:58 am supports teams of journalists who follow a story across borders. now has its 6th call for application open.

Traffickers from the Ukraine, slave labour from Romania, working in the Czech Republic for a Dutch company? Obvious for journalists to build a team to get the right competences and languages! Or one piece of EU law governing the conditions for citizens in all EU and EEA countries? Again an obvious method to pool research competence and time in a team and then to publish for the various target groups. Or a company acting – possibly in breach of EU law – in several European countries?

This kind of ideas is supported by If you have an obvious idea, have a good team almost ready to start researching, if just you had this bit of extra money and time – do have a look at the latest call for applications and see, whether the rules for applications and the criteria fit your project.