cross-border journalism

Archive for the ‘Blog news’ Category

What I’ve been up to recently

In Blog news on November 13, 2021 at 3:50 am

November 2021: Claim and suggestion: The claim is, that collaboration between journalists in different newsrooms is a competence. The suggestion is that collaboration as a competence can be transferred to other fields, where journalists collaborate with non-journalistic groups – be that scientists, public authorities or civil society. Interesting discussion at the SciCAR conference in Dortmund on a panel with probably the longest title I’ve ever spoken about. And realised that translating ‘collaborative journalism’ into German gives a lovely long word: Zusammenarbeitsjournalismus.

November 2021: Some of the graduates from MIJ at University of Gothenburg have started to publish material from their investigative journalism exam projects in June. For example this mini-series of two articles on lobbying ahead of the EU’s AI directive and on the role of Big Tech in EU’s AI ethics group.

October 2021: Out and meeting people again – crucial to set up cross-border collaboration teams and to plan interesting collaborations. Te 2021 cohort of the European Collaborative Journalism Programme by the Alfred-Töpfer-Stiftung went on a retreat by the Baltic Coast. Let’s look forward to interesting stories being prepared!

October 2021: Out and meeting people again – the Data SKUP conference in Oslo by SKUP.

September 2021: Out and meeting people again! In Berlin for various meetings including the 2020-2021 in-person celebration of the European Press Prize, including a meeting with the nominees for the Money To Burn investigation where I had the pleasure to mentor the editorial coordinator during the production. An investigation, that was planned during the 2020 retreat of the European Collaborative Journalism Programme by the Alfred-Töpfer-Stiftung. 

June 2021: The Master Investigative Journalism at the University of Gothenburg offers investigative, data and crossborder journalism. From late August 2020 to June 2021, an international class of 37 students worked hard and did impressive work. For example, they contributed research to this documentary about dodgy adoption practices. Several of them already landed interesting jobs or internships, some of them already published as freelancers in major media. It was a pleasure to work with the MIJ20/21 class, and though I have not met them in person due to covid19-restrictions, I miss them already!

May-June 2021: Dataharvest – the European Investigative Journalism Conference Digital. Over three weeks from mid-May to early June. Very happy to partner with major organisations this year, the European Press Prize and EJTA, the European association of journalism teachers and trainers. Fabulous to work with my precious and super competent colleagues at Arena!

May 2021: Invited to be a member of the advisory board of Re-Check, a Swiss nonprofit organization specialized in investigating and mapping health affairs.

April 2021: An idea has come to live and on April 28th reached a stage to stop and have a look: The idea of building a journalistic network to work with one societally important topic. In 2018, upon the question of an appreciated colleague, I developed the idea to focus on the problem of affordable housing in Europe. To do so, since 2019 Arena worked with the fabulous Jose Miguel Calatayud to develop the Arena Housing Network. We first invited to the Housing Track at the Dataharvest-EIJC in 2019. Jose then developed a variety of useful infrastructure tools for journalists and other experts in the field. And now – along with a team from 15 countries – the first big crossborder investigation was launched: Mapping the power of corporate landlords and how they affect the life of the tenants. The Cities For Rent project published this April builds upon the network that has grown since 2019, it not only brings a wee bit of transparency into this opaque business field, it also shows just how closely connected tenants all over Europe are facing very similar problems caused by the commodification of housing. The Cities For Rent project was mentioned in the podcast by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung about the housing crisis.

March 2021: Next generation is coming! Two new textbook anthologies on investigative journalism published these days. For the English language Investigative Journalism 3rd Edition edited by Paul Lashmar and Hugo de Burgh I contributed a chapter on covering Europe and collaborative journalism. This book provides experience from practitioners describing trends in investigative journalism in the anglosaxon part of the world and beyond. In Danish language, editors Lene Rimestad and Jannie Møller Hartley offer an overview over Investigative Journalism Methods, structured along the work process from idea to publication. This anthology, too, is written by experienced practitions, and I contributed with a chapter on filing FOI requests in Denmark and the EU and with a chapter on cross-border collaborative journalism.

March 2021: The first Arena/Dataharvest pop-up session: The making of Open Lux, featuring Maxime Vaudano, Maxime Ferrer and Jeremie Baruch from Le Monde, who developed this crossborder, data journalism project. Open Lux unveils not only dodgy tax avoidance practices but also the structures allowing them.

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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.