Investigative Reporting Summer School in Riga

Wednesday, AUGUST 17

16:00

PRE-SEMINAR

A Revealing Movie

Special Private Screening – Stay tuned

Thursday, AUGUST 18

09:30 – 10:00

Welcome address

Nils Hanson, programme director and Lasma Antonevica, SSE Riga

Practical information

10:00 – 11:00

Investigative Journalism in the Times of War

Keynote speaker: Jakub Parusinski, Kyiv Independent

11:00 – 11:30

Break

11:30 – 13:00

Investigating war crimes

 

Reporting violations in an active conflict, previously a daunting and life threatening task, has now become easier thanks to open-source reporting techniques.

A guide to investigating war crimes using the new tools and techniques.

 

Manisha Ganguly

Excel for Beginners
Part 1

Digging into data for stories

Basics of Excel: navigating, sorting, filtering, using formulas and aggregating data with PivotTables; most common problems and how to avoid them.

(Bring your own computer with Excel installed. Computers with Excel will also be provided for training.)

Linda Larsson Kakuli

Reporting on Organized Crime and Corruption

Protect yourself from surveillance

From planting bugs in the newsroom to infecting your mobile phone – how to detect and stop it.

Miranda Patrucic
Paul Radu

13:00 – 14:00

Lunch

14:00 – 15:30

Fact-checking the propaganda

How to check facts in a country where facts are lies, and the truth is dangerous to deal with? Ilya Ber had to leave his country when it became a criminal offence to be a serious fact-checker. Here he gives insight into the limitations and opportunities to fact check the Russian propaganda.

Ilya Ber

Cleaning dirty data in Excel
Part 2

In this hands-on workshop you will learn to identify and clean dirty data in Excel, organize badly formatted data into rows and columns, convert formats and join/split up fields by using formulas.

(Bring your own computer with Excel installed. Computers with Excel will also be provided for training.)

Linda Larsson Kakuli

Reporting on Organized Crime and Corruption

Follow the money

How to investigate multinational companies outside your border.

Miranda Patrucic
Paul Radu

15:30 – 16:00

Break

16:00 – 17:30

Tracking oligarch’s assets in the Baltics

When the EU introduced sanctions against Belarus president Alexander Lukashenka due to rigged elections and a violent crackdown on protests, some oligarchs in his close circle started to shift assets to allies across Baltic borders. They were not the only ones. Russian oligarchs were also there. Journalists from investigative centres – Re: Baltica in Latvia, Delfi in Estonia, Siena in Lithuania – reveal the scale of sanction-busting in this illicit flow of wealth and how to track the oligarch’s assets.

Sanita Jemberga, Holger Roonemaa, Šarūna Černiauskas
Moderator: Inga Springe

Data coaching one-on-one
Part 3

Problem with a specific job? An idea to develop? Or do you have an annoying Excel-problem? Come, meet Linda and figure out a solution.

Linda Larsson Kakuli

Reporting on Organized Crime and Corruption

How not to get lost Methods to be efficient and focused.

Miranda Patrucic
Paul Radu

Friday, AUGUST 19

Conference badges required for entry!

09:30 – 11:00

Human Sources
Part 1

Do you need a source at a company or a government agency? Here you get tips on how to get it. You will learn methods that will help you to get inside the most closed and secret organizations.

Axel Gordh Humlesjö
and Hans Månson

Story Based Inquiry

 

1. Start with a hypothesis

Any investigation begins with a question. A hypothesis is a preliminary answer to that question. By imagining your story in advance, you increase the chance of success. We teach you how to formulate a hypothesis in such a way that it opens up an inward path for your investigation. A hypothesis also helps you to assess the importance and viability of your idea before investing in further research.

 

Mark Hunter and Luuk Sengers

Reporting on Organized Crime and Corruption

The sanctioned oligarchs Investigate how they try to save their fortunes in the western world.

Miranda Patrucic
Paul Radu

11:00 – 11:30

Break

11:30 – 13:00

Human Sources

Part 2

“There is nothing more toxic to responsible journalism than an anonymous source. There is often nothing more necessary” Daniel Okrent, Public editor New York Times 2004.

Whistleblower and anonymous sources are crucial in our business. But how do you handle them and their information? How to secure that they are safe?

 

Hans Månson and  Axel Gordh Humlesjö

2. Nail down the timeline

Timelines are the royal road to a story. We show how to record events along a timeline, and how to deduce and verify other events that affect the story.

Mark Hunter and Luuk Sengers

Reporting on Organized Crime and Corruption

Find the hidden wealth

You can find what the high official owns by using open-source techniques and tracking relatives.

Miranda Patrucic
Paul Radu

13:00 – 14:00

Lunch

14:00 – 15:30

Internet Research
Part 1


When search engines are
your best friend
Hands-on tips and tricks on how to find exactly what you are looking for. Together we try out advanced Google search operators, and other free internet resources.
Bring your own computer if you want to follow along


Emelie Rosén

3. Map the stakeholders

A source map shows who is involved in your story — as initiators, witnesses, profiteers and victims — and what documents they create. The map shows the relationships between stakeholders, the paper trail and the target audience for your story. The latter is essential to increase impact.

4. Master the material

Our study of professional practice shows that organization is the key to successful projects. Our specially developed tool is called the ‘masterfile’. In it, sources and insights are collected and organized. The masterfile is also a management tool that provides insight into the status of the investigation and facilitates collaboration among team members.

 

Mark Hunter and Luuk Sengers

Reporting on Organized Crime and Corruption

Understand financials

Numbers tell us a story if we ask the right questions.

Miranda Patrucic
Paul Radu

15:30 – 16:00

Break

16:00 – 17:30

Internet Research

Part 2

Social media research – beyond Facebook
Facebook is not what it once was when it comes to research on social media. This session explores tools that still works on Facebook, but also explores several other social media networks that might be way more useful for you.
Bring your own computer if you want to follow along.

Emelie Rosén

Let the story tell the facts

We have never met a researcher who could not find interesting material, but we have met many who stumbled in producing the story. We learn how to use narrative structures and literary or cinematic storytelling techniques.

 

Mark Hunter and Luuk Sengers

Reporting on Organized Crime and Corruption

Reveal money laundering

Practical tips on following the traces.

Miranda Patrucic
Paul Radu

19:00

Garden Party

Saturday, AUGUST 20

Conference badges required for entry!

REPORTING ON THE WAR

Moderator: Axel Gordh Humlesjö

10:00 – 11:00

Investigating the war
 
How the investigative outlet Slidstvo.Info  in Ukraine switched to war-covering media. How they were preparing for the war and organised the work in the first days. War reporting in Kyiv and Kyiv region, using OSINT technologies for identifying Russian militaries (releasing of a special project – database Russian War Criminals). Stories from occupied cities and reporting about Ukrainians deported to Russia.
 
Anna Babinets

11:00 – 11:30

Break

11:30 – 13:00

Reporting from the inside and the outside


After almost six months of reporting on the war – what have we learned? Four investigative journalists, one from inside the war zone, discuss methods and tools, dilemmas and obstacles, resources and impact. The discussion will give the attendees insight and concrete tips on dealing with the most demanding assignment for a journalist.


Anna Babinets, Ilya Ber, Manisha Ganguly and 
Pavel Merzlikin