GIJC15: The ABCs of Investigative Journalism

GIJC15: The ABCs of Investigative Journalism



a most suitable possibile the Rose after for your free care hello I'm home it may last our tech now CEO bolita so everyone get seated and have your coffee or water prepared for this next seminar okay my name is Terry Colson I'm the chairman of the Association of investigative journalism in Sweden I work for Swedish national television and we're about to listen to a colleague of mine at Swedish national television the editor-in-chief for the most prestigious TV program for investigative journalism in Sweden it's called up to a grounding mission to investigate the speaker has been the editor-in-chief for more than 10 years for this program and it has had a huge impact for investigative journalism in Sweden also as the key member for a long time of our association I can promise you that this is a presentation that will inspire a lot of people I've seen it many times and every time I realized that his mythology and his take on investigative journalism is worth listening to over and over again ladies and gentlemen please welcome is the Nils Hansen thank you thank you for those very kind words yeah this will be about the basics of investigative journalism the ABC obviously every honest man you can see here two heroes of investigative journalism to celebrated heroes Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who revealed the Watergate scandal in our early 70s at this conference we can learn about a lot of tools these guys couldn't use we have learned a lot about data tools and but when I'm thinking back on our best stories the stories we are made which have meant a difference to our society that have made great impact on our society my conclusion is that we use their tools very very much in fact it's almost every story we make a story that makes impact we use the same tools as an idea you can call it old school but it works and when I say we as theis that it's this program mission investigate in Swedish where is oops wrong girl skating which is very difficult to say from Swede also better more difficult for many of you and we have been around for 15 15 years and we doing 45 programs a year one hour week prime time we have 35 members of staff we're based in Gothenburg on Swedish West Coast not in the capital Stockholm and we try to get a Swedish angle on all stories but we a lot we work a lot internationally when we do cross-border investigations which member abandoned York and even mark told you about in a presentation yesterday to do investigate reporting it's a very demanding challenge is like you are expected to move mountains in every every project and I think a poor King Sisyphus who had to roll up the stone up on the hill and then the stone roll down again and then he had to roll it up again forever poor Sisyphus and sometimes that's an investor a boarder you feel like Sisyphus poor me this is an analysis of the mood of an investigative reporter during an investigative project and as you see it goes up and down and when you I got a go decision from your boss life is wonderful you're talking to a lot of interesting people you get a huge amount of documents it is so easy to get documents nowadays you sleep very very good but sooner or later sooner or later you will find yourself in the black tunnel and that is when deadline is coming near and the crucial the key document is still missing you don't have the evidence you need and suddenly your victim drops out and the whistleblower just has disappeared the discipline who have you met a couple of times and who was so promising just disappear at this moment in this black tunnel you don't sleep good at night you wake up 3:00 in the morning and ask yourself why did I become an investigative reporter why did I become an journalist and how why didn't I choose another job insurance man or something like that and this is something that you have experience and you have to try to master this black tunnel and at this moment you need a real good editor telling you it's not so bad think about it you have that and that we have the minimum of a story you have quite a good story maybe not as good as we want it but still a good story maybe you should try another track you have to bite in the bullet and do the best you can out of this situation and if you do that you will see the light again and hopefully at the end you have a success story but you have to handle this black tunnel and it's worth it this is a picture from the latest global conference net was in Rio in Brazil and we won the Daniel Pearl Ward the global investor journalist award will accept USA we were pointed out as the best we are made the best investigative story and that was tili-tili a calm company Phyllis Ramirez corruption deal with respect Stan dictators daughter granola Karim Allah and it's worth it because you make a difference difference as a journalist you can improve conditions for people you can get not only a ward but you can also get appreciation at in your newsroom hopefully also higher salary and it's so so many positive ingredients in being in an investigative journalism but the most important thing all of course is that you live up to the expectations you can have of a journalist to make your best to improve the society to change the world for better we don't say that loud but I'll say it now we want to change the world to the better we are at this program regarding mission investigate we have demanding goals from our bosses in the capital of stock Stockholm they want us to make great impact on society at least price every season what I mean by that I will don't know but if you make a difference then I think you know about it you realize now we make a difference and we are supposed to get 10% of the population watching the programme at least twice every season and sometimes we succeed sometimes not and we expected to win two international awards which we didn't make last year but in 2013 we won three international awards but this year so far no international awards but a couple of months left and I will not be sacked I think if we don't go up to that but I don't know we will now discuss three three four four important steps to reach those goals goals that we are have to handle and we have to find a method to reach up to these goals the idea you know this brilliant idea we have to examine our own ideas but first of all how do you get that brilliant idea and the answer is I don't know I don't know if I knew I would be the best editor in this world but I have some tips to give when you read the program of this conference you might think that investor journalist is only about corruption and corruption and corruption and that's it is very important of course but it's so much else you can do investigations you can investigate internet hate we have done several programs about hate grooming and so on on internet I'll give you one example from five years ago a program that still is discussed in Sweden it's about a rape case a fourteen-year-old girl was raped by a 16 year old boy we got a tip that this boy is innocent it's a question it's a case of wrongly convicted we went to this small community called viesta in northern part of Sweden to find out about this and soon the report is realized it's not the case of wrongly convicted it's a case of okay it's a case of a young girl who made this allegation against boy and got in from victim in court she is the one who is blamed for doing this in fact she had to leave this town because she was people was turning their back on her they put hate comments on her on internet Facebook and so on at the same time the rapist was praised because everybody thought he was innocent despite this verdict it was upside down where the victim had to flee and the offender could stay in the community and being priced very strange and now we will see and I can say that I was not really sure that this story should be told in our program when I was in the discussion in the newsroom discussion about this program because it's very sensitive issues but sexual crime and youngsters and so on and but we made the story and I will show you a short clip which reveals something really extraordinary and we try the best to unidentified those youngsters we called the girl linear she had an unknown end and we called the rapist Oscar and at this moment our reporter is making an interview with a priest in this small community to get his reaction because now we know we have known that this john-boy Oscar is accused for another rape another rape linear thing as Peters Cunha of little femme de Mille hem authoritarian filmin from schoolís looting him how they cannot for a salute that when historia their office mostly or annex man and he'll us when they are in the suit bar annuity Marcion are a pock random fear are Oscar schoolers limiting and missing accomplice are pointed on board strand me a protest them and shorten or roughly come yennefer retrieve awesome hand the same Airport random I have to know school offered me anything latent the ball to learn it the liquor and non-flicker the harder trip to know what they heard the hand northern afternoon we are the Atlanta you say the plane at the whole of the nude and then never horizont well thank you like a Starsky yeah oh sure you need Razak sir I'm afraid of subhadda student work he really but what he said at the end was poor boy and then he said and the girl of course was that was his reaction yeah it's quite unbelievable but this was a story about hate on Internet it was a story about sexual at rape where the victim is the one who is blamed we're talking about two universal phenomena we're talking about a pattern that is all over the world and this local story became global this local story one award in Germany Prix Europa and also in USA but I read investing reporters and editors so this is an investigate story not about corruption about something else that is very important to tell our viewers our public about and in fact now this story has become a movie we should also have receive rewards in Germany and in the States and it's heavily discussed in Sweden because that the family of this rape girl Linnea they feel mr. Epps misrepresented in this movie that feel that I are on a very negative light in this movie so it's a lot of ways discussion at this moment about this movie in Sweden this shows that in investigated piece of journalist can get great impact can make a great impact we can make a difference okay at Manu so we we receive around 10,000 to 15,000 tips year we can almost not handle it but if you don't have any tips or if you like we do discuss what is the most important thing for us to show to amuse there's a natural question to ask what is really important so sometimes we have a discussion which problem is the biggest or which problem is the most upsetting for our viewers that's a good question to ask and then you think about it and then you get this brilliant idea what can be more important than health care you go to the buzzer say hi boss I would like to make an investigation on healthcare and then the boss says what a brilliant idea you are genius no of course not the boss doesn't say that you have to go one step further this is a no-no what you have is an important and an important topic issue but now you have to try to find the story you can sell into the the editor in doing that we can talk about system failures you get into the system and talk to people working inside and ask them if you were a journalist like I am where would you take it's no interview you just talk about people inside the system it's not controversial it's not that sensitive we can talk buddy inside this with insiders about this and then you get something important you get an idea with an edge people are dying needlessly because of bad gig in a hospital that's what one doctors are saying one nurse is saying they're saying the same thing that's the biggest problem at this moment we don't have clean hands as we should have at this hospital no you can go to your boss and say I have a brilliant idea boss and the boss will agree that's a brilliant idea how to reveal corruption if you don't have any ideas or tips first of all you have to think the worst or people you have to be very very cynical and this is something you only can tell journalists about this is something we just talked about inside this room because otherwise people outside would think would be very very cynical but you have to be cynical when you are an investigative journalist you have to think if I was corrupt well it's unthinkable but try to think it if I was corrupt how could i profit from the system and it doesn't matter which system you get into you always find people profit from the system if the opportunity is there you will always find it so it's just up to you to identify the possibility possibilities to misuse the profit from the system I'll give you an example people petitions officials from all over Europe every spring they go to camp on the French Riviera to this conference it's constant as conference was it about almost forgot but it's a conference for local politicians and officials and I stay one week and if you know that your local politician or official are there what could be more natural than examining their expenses when I come home because they want to expenses covered by the community and yesterday you work in Denmark and spamarama told you about this corruption deal Chile achillea sanera and Kunar occur in moba that was deal worth 300 million dollars and in fact our viewers didn't get that upset we didn't get that reaction from our viewers that we expected but when we made this this investigation on on the bills coming from those officials and politicians from can then something else happened here's an example a high official in Gothenburg bought some thing from a woman clothing store worth 60 euro and he put in made this an expense for lunch and you can see the other person's eating lunch but this is a bill receipt from a clothing store but he tried to make it look like a lunch bill he is in fact even given a tip 5 dirty so this is 65 euro expense for the government tech space and this made people so upset that this guy had to resign from his job and was a really big story in Sweden this is quite bizarre but that's the way it is in Sweden we have something called kickoff meeting where we discuss the ideas we give the reporters one two maybe three weeks to do a pre reporting to sniff on the idea then we demand a kickoff meeting here we have the devil's advocate asking all those nasty questions no reporter wants to hear the mission for the devil's advocate is kill historia kill the story how could we be wrong we are wrong that he that's his assignment to push push reporter as much as possible we also discussed the minimum the maximum all the time do we have the minimum and what is the maximum the minimum is good enough to publish something new and important irrelevant to our viewers we shall not repeat what is already known which we should tell of you with something that need to know something I want to know and something that shouldn't have known if we haven't published it that's the minimum and the maximum is what we hope to achieve but cannot promise in any way we have one dilemma here and it's very common almost all reporters have this problem that everything is so important and if you have difficulties to define which are supposed to have you have to find a solution to this dilemma and we really try to work on this because we know that we are supposed to produce fortified programs here we cannot spend months of the months of the month of the month to examine all those tracks we have to choose to P track what is the most important track and here hypothesis is a very helpful metal that's that means that you have to put your assumption assumption not conclusion assumption in one or two sentences what are you trying to prove put that in one sentence or two and when it comes to this 300 million bribe story dr. hypothesis boss this we could make this hypothesis quite early in the process and it's sown soon ended up in conclusion a thesis that the 3d still is not till telecom company paid 250 million in bribes to Nakamura the daughter of the respective president in exchange for a country into this big market then 250 million became 300 million later on and if you have problems with just one hypothesis do 2 to 3 that makes makes it easier to choose the most important one yes this is the big challenge in every investigation how to prove the wrongdoing and we all know that we have to get evidence close being close it's not enough 80% 90% you know how it is but you cannot prove it it's not enough if we leave leave just 1% 5% that means that we will be attacked by the target of the investigation lousy journalism nothing new fallen zone absurdity insulting libel we have to prove it to 100% we should not insinuate a wrongdoing we should prove it but how the solution is we have to get the documents to verify everything and in Sweden we have a great Freedom of Information Act that next year will be 250 years old but still we have problems sometimes to get documents to these Freedom of Information Act so we have to work in the same way as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did I met an African and FP reporter two weeks ago I will not mention which country because he is the only reporter in that country but he said to me my colleagues believes that I'm bribing the officials because I had to get the documents all time but then I'm not bribing anyone I just cultivate them I talk to the officials and I make them help me get those classified documents I have no problems getting those documents my colleagues could cannot cannot believe it I can't understand how do I do and I think that's really worth to talk about here how to get those sources those officials because these are the documents we need confidential when it got get a document like that in your hand you get very happy how to get them we are working old-school in many ways we try to get out on the field as soon as possible not to stay in the newsroom but get out on the field meet people sometimes we make it try to make it hard to say no to us and how do we make it hard to say no for example to knock honor people on people's tours that's what we would have an embarrassed ended and the Watergate story they knocked on doors and when you see a person standing at your doorstep looking quite nice very polite of course it's very hard to say no come in we avoid sometimes to call people or write email to get a first contact we write a paper letter because nowadays is very unique to get a letter a personal letter on paper and when you get a paper letter you will be very very curious in a very positive mood what is this a person has written a letter to me you see a personal written address and so on what can this be about and you open this letter in in a in a moment when you have time to read and so on this is a very good start of a relationship and we often start seed in getting contact for example with sensitive in sensitive issues when it comes to victims this is a very good way to start a relation or if it's a source you want to make a contact with to write a letter on paper explaining what you want and what you're doing and who you are and we try to visit the governments as much as we can to get contracted relations with the officials and it's getting more and more unique journalist missing visiting the government's because journalists nowadays tends to stay in the newsroom and not get out on the field and we try to cultivate sources everywhere so how do you find your deep throat and this is the garage of Washington where those guys Woodward Bernstein had that deep throat sauce classic secret sauce or the Watergate scandal I'll give you some tips first of all you have to try to identify people with the information you need people with expertise on this subject you should always assume that everybody must talk to you never think that he will never talk to me she will never answer she will get angry so on never think in a negative way when it comes to contact people with information you need and you should ask for a meeting not mention the word in to you that's a terrible word very very dangerous world interview because then suddenly the person sees himself has to have on a very black headlines and maybe you should not say I'm doing an investigation on corruption at your company maybe you should not say that maybe you should say that I'm trying to get a fair picture of what's happened that's me or not neutral and that's also what your job is about it's not lying saying that and you have to to get trust you have to give trust and a good way to give trust is to be as open as you can with with what you're working on with your hypothesis your knowledge about this case and and this is very tricky ethical question but to get something you sometimes have to give something do you think it's okay to collaborate with the police to give the police something to get something from police is that ethical okay it's very easy to say no very very easy to say no but I avoid to say no and I don't say yes neither because I'm the editor of this program and I would not stand here saying it's okay to collaborate with the police but it might be under some circumstances justified to do that I don't say that we do it but I say it could be just fine hmm okay how to get people to talk to you even left I don't want to talk to you your challenge here is to get them to talk to you but how to do it I have some suggestions here this is really a good one you don't want to talk to me and you don't have to talk to me I will talk to you I will tell you about what I know about this you don't have to say anything of course at this this is an offer it's very hard to say no because this person gets curious what does these jurors know and I don't have to say anything then you meet this person and you tell the person as much as you can and the person thinks oh this is very interesting and I don't have to say anything and then you're saying thank you very much you goodbye and then you go home and then to the new storm and a couple days later you write a letter maybe an email this time maybe a paper letter say thank you for this meeting it was very interesting to meet you and I hope I can come back to you because I may I might have something more to tell you and then you meet this person a second time telling this person but you know and now something happens the person thinks this this this this journalist is really crazy but it's really really serious I have to give him something back was he given me so much no I have to give something back that's a really good way to get people to talk when it comes to the Watergate story you know this dude he didn't say so much he was just confirming facts if they were true or not true he didn't give them information he was confirming information and that's also a good method you don't have to say something yourself but can you confirm that this is true this is more neutral question I don't do not have so but I have some documents please can you help me to understand them a flattering always works I've talked to many people and everybody says that you are so competent I should talk to you on something during the years that's true and that's a good start I know you don't want to talk to me but I need some help with the fact-checking and it's in everybody's interest that we published is correct and this is like a win-win situation and to help with quality control that's a very positive thing and this is also something that you can use to get a closer relation to a source this a little bit more nasty but it works I don't know I know you don't want to talk but you don't want to talk with me but I found some documents that affects you Oh what what yeah because let's have a meeting and I'll show you this is something that is hard to say note to and to win a source you have to show that you're trustworthy that you worth the risk because you have to admit we have to admit that people that are helping us they are taking a risk they can lose their job they can be threatened very much even worse things can happen and how can we convince them to collaborate with us and how can we show that we are worth this trust I think we should be very open with the risks we should tell the source about the law what is the law saying about this but being in a whistleblower and how can we protect the source we have had this conference in this program we have great a lot about great tools red phone we are ready single text secure PGP and so on that's something we can discuss maybe we should give the source a prepaid cell phone prepaid cell phone and have communicate that way and we have to discuss how facts can be used we have to be very open with a source about everything and where should we meet also an important question and sometimes we give the sauce final cut which means that the source will read the manuscript before publication and if the source feels it's something here that is too sensitive or that can lead to the source we will exclude that from the management this is just some examples on how you can build trust with a source when working like this I've believe you can get inside any operation any company any government everywhere because now always people who think that what we are doing is very important people who are upset with the conditions where they are working they are willing to help us it's up to us to identify them and to show them that we are worth the trust yes I see it too often reporters gathering information nowadays we print out so many documents and I see it also in the laptops of course but I think most reporters in most people's like to have documents on paper anyhow I don't see the reporters reading all those documents they are printing out all that are collecting on on that computer they don't read it because they don't have time to read it or because they have to find n more even more documents they don't take time to sit down and analyze and read and analyze and read and analyze the material which means they might miss the crucial detail that explains everything so you have to take time sit down one day two days read it all there are some tools for investigate reporters to structure what you have found the timeline is the classical tool the chronology I show you another tool here it's about to extract what you need from a huge and very complicated material it's four steps you read everything in detail then you break it down after you need what you need you made you sort the material in a way that can give you the information you need and then you analyze the new picture I'll give you a hypothetical example here let us say we have a case of wrongly convicted and the prosecutors say the testimony is not us is consistent the spelling is not the best is consistent according to the prosecutor and then you extract the information in this way because if you have an police investigation with thousand pages one thousand pages and you just read and read and read it can be hard to see the pattern but if you extract the facts that is relevant for your investigation then suddenly you have a pattern very very clear and this we talked about a knife stabbed a man was killed through by a knife stabbed and witness a say it was mr. black on page 114 and then page 203 it was mr. green and so on we find that the witnesses were not consistent so this is a way to extract information from a big big material and the conclusion is the prosecutor is wrong this is a very important step to demand accountability the the it's a key thing in investigative reporting and there's something that we make a lot of efforts in our newsroom when it comes to get the other side of the story and you know you don't know if you have a story until you've heard the other side so we try to make a contact as early as possible to make sure we have a story because the objections from the other side can mean there are explanations we don't know about and maybe that leads to we are saying we cannot do a story and making a relation a dialogue with this the target subject of the investigation it's very very important if you can do it because it also means you get fact-checking but the real expert the expert on the wrongdoing but also it means that you will not get late explanations that you will not have time to examine if you again get those explanations early on then you can examine those explanations maybe you find that the person is lying and you can prove that this person is lying sometimes when the target refuses to comment we make an ambush into you and it's very very risky we did one last week without any problems because when you make an ambush into you you have to be sure that the audience the viewers are just as upset as our reporters I'll give you an example here this old man here that's in BarCamp lon he's the owner back here he is an icon in Sweden we made an investigation on IKEA and on Camp Road and made the conclusion that he my comrade is not telling it like it is he has said to the public in many interviews that akia is controlled by a private foundation no sorry is controlled by a non-profit foundation nonprofit foundation in Holland we could reveal that is in fact controlled by private financial foundation in in Liechtenstein controlled by himself okay so we try to get an interview with in my camera at this time here I think it was 85 years old still active though and we didn't get any into you and now let's see what's happened four months have passed since we met I kia's found her in the car park at Elmwood and asked for an interview in to throw you know here done we never got that interview in Kamprad isn't so keen to talk about taxes or foundations in Liechtenstein it's half past five the day before Christmas Eve the party in our Kia's stockroom in Elm Holt is over in Bergkamp rad has preferred his Christmas greetings to Ikea staff and two specially invited journalists Stella from destiny olive or motley crane to care the whole lump what's the history finger wound that I'm really ordered list I still think it was right to do this ambush but the viewers didn't like it at all we had almost 2 million viewers 85% hated us after program we even received death threats because of this so you have to look out look up and be sure that you have the views on your side if you're doing in ambush but sometimes I think it's motivated and now I just gave it to example how to do to prove wrongdoing you hide what you know or you pretend you know to hide what you know Kember can be very effective you have evidence but you don't show the evidence immediately and you do that to destroy the credibility of the target this is from a story from the Gothenburg where we live and operate and we have a lot of tradition in governments the corruption in the community and we got a tip from a wife of official she was divorced she told us that her husband who is working at Department of the government city and he is totally corrupt my former husband is totally corrupt she's dead okay interesting and then she showed us this picture of a husband in shades and the other officials having a nice time in on the French Riviera at the Chateau of supplier to the city of Gothenburg an owner of a construction company who gets a lot a lot of orders from the city of Gothenburg and makes millions out of that the official were in cafe in on the French Riviera invited by this supplier and of course he paid for everything but what to do with this picture she told us about many things but this is something concrete it's a document it's a picture now we can confront the official with a picture and ask him how do you explain that you and your colleagues from City to Gothenburg are here on vacation with this supplier that's a natural thing to do but we decided not to we decided to see if he will lie for us if we will hold this information and if you lie then we know we have a story and if we have good explanations then we drop the story here's the wife very angry okay we knew we had a story and that was hidden camera also something you have to be respective producing then you can pretend that you know and that you have evidence sometimes is so frustrating you know something but you cannot prove it it might take months maybe take years maybe it's impossible to get the evidence you need then you can try this metal or pretending that you have the evidence which you cannot get hold on this is an example this is our reporter Sophia job ladies she is confronting the major of a small community aster okyun and Sophia has she knows that this mayor has got what's her name no money from a very rich and very important family in this community and in fact all the politicals all related political decisions are in favor of this rich and powerful family and how come that the politicians always decide in the interest of this rich family Sofia get the information that this mayor has got money alone from this family and this mayor starting a new private school in Astoria and it's financed totally by this rich family and but she has no evidence and here is you know the binder you see the binder here what does this binder signal it signals that this journalist has a lot of evidence and it makes the target even more nervous and uncomfortable so they always have this binder when she's doing this confrontational interview and that's a very good tip and okay let's see what happens here okay yeah okay yeah this is the principle of credibility the dilemma now for this woman who is the major August of is that if she had to decide shall I tell the truth and lose reputation or should I tell a lie and risk to lose even more reputation that's the dilemma we can hold the principle of credibility how should how shall she handle this dilemma let's see the ball a bank loan okay technically detectives also the horrid loan fraud and professional so my mother every asset of them shown reality of Tyria her for the underlie home Milano's hmm you're hurrying from a Hooton Oh madam personally agree of a family on Samara the things temporal didn't famiglia some heard or not was paying are you okay we got the confirmation and that led to an investigation police investigation for corruption yes I had a session here before one hour talking about line by line now I have five minutes I do budget light version of line by line because it's very very important to use time enough to make sure what you publish is correct fair and balanced and if we spend so much time on doing research into Ewing recording editing writing and so on the list of public could expect this to what me you can't spend so much amount of time to make sure that everything is correct accurate and fair and when it comes to line belong the keys verification and if you are like most investing reporters if you are dr. Holick dr. Holick it's it's a very serious disease as we all know but if you are dr. Holick it helps because if you lab documents you collect documents all the time you just have to make sure that you have your documents in order in some way because everything you publish everything in your manuscript has to be verified in the line-by-line process we make this line by line one eight days before broadcasting we've all cost on Wednesdays and then we do this llama lon on Tuesday the week before and then the editor has a very important role in doing this and the editor have to make sure to first of all watch the story of course and make an impression what is the impression or stories it's trustworthy is it balanced something that sticks out something that we have to change this one and then the other has to in detail read the manuscript and mark all facts conclusions criticism and so on sometimes we use this matter jellow for facts and conclusions and read for ketosis and when you do in this process you have to make sure that you can work with concentration we do that here we don't have to lock the door to the room but it's good laughs if you put off your cell phones and really concentrate on this process which takes around between four hours and eight hours depending how complicated the issue is or how prepared the reporters are everything everything everything should be verified even quotes from interview persons if a person is lying or if a person is wrong it might be okay but we should know if the person is wrong we often discuss as journalists always want to maximize everything we always can to maximize so home how many are some several many is for many no probably not how many hundreds if reporter writes hundreds of people are affected how many are hundreds once I asked a reporter you write here hundreds can you be a little bit more precise yeah it's 218 do you mean 218 is that hundreds hundreds for me more like seven hundred or something like that well we have the discussion about that and then we changed to over 200 and watch out for over statements like this everybody says or this is very common they haven't done anything to help the victim the government haven't done anything if you write a conclusion like that that means the burden of proof is on you as a reporter that of course they have done something at least maybe put a pen from here to there something like that he was talking to her 24 hours a day is that possible well the reporter says guess what we say we say 24 hours a day yes but for us we die hard we have to have precision in journalists almost 24 hours a day an investigation without the conclusion is often an investigation without an edge if you want make impact for your story you have to tell what this means all the research you have done has to end up in a conclusion you're not quoting or referring a says that and B says that it's you who are making a conclusion to draw a conclusion upon your material you have collected and analyzed and that is taking a risk but that is a risk you have to take as an investigative reporter and this is the moment where we discuss the conclusions are they well-founded or maybe we can sharpen the conclusion or maybe we have to stuff them the conclusion can we say that in become Brad is lying or shall we say that he is not telling it like it is when it comes to this foundation I think we could have said that his life because he said in many interviews officially that he is controlled by nonprofit organization foundation in Holland but we didn't say that and I'm glad we didn't say that we said he's not telling it like it is I mean that we just think you know the reaction of this program so I'm glad we didn't say it's like I know don't know what happened without the criticism ake sure that all allegations are answered to is so important and sometimes we find that reporters has answered to criticize a B and D but not see why not C then the reports say that that's not much of criticism all right maybe lift a little bit critical but not much but we know that this this will be used against us this will blown out of proportions of the subject of the investigation so we have to make sure that all critical points all allegations will be answered to and we have a three step model when it comes to make sure that we get comments answers to allegations and the first contact is make an interview we get no the second step is that we inform about kratos's and subjects s know and then the third step is that we inform on exact phrases in the manuscript and that moment we often get reactions and this is maybe just a week before publications so we give them three chances to answer to allegations how to line by line facts that are not included but should have been included in the story that's a tricky one some questions that should be asked and the first is very easy for the reporter or any relevant information is is any information missing relevant information of course not the reporter says of course not this is more tricky if we include the facts in a story that we decided not include would that change the picture the whole picture or if our viewers knew that we hit we have decided to leave these facts out of the story will I get disappointed with us that's an interesting question and if jus would be confronted by a media investigative reporter who Terrell media investing reporter and be confronted by the question how could you defend your selection would you have problems with defending your selection of facts that's a good question too and also to discuss even if we find the selection motivated can we defense how do we defend the selection and the last question at this Lana Lang how does it feel now how do you feel in the stomach something that is worrying you now it's the last chance to talk about it you don't maybe not have that all the time we have to do this line by line fact-checking but in any newsroom you always have some minutes if you working on a new story you all were has at least a couple of minutes five minutes 15 30 minutes I think you have to do what you can to make sure what you publish is correct when it comes to a story where you mention people or companies or governance in a negative way facts verify everything conclusions examine the grounds allegations check the response do what you can to make sure that your reporting is accurate and fair and here is my contact details and if you want my or my nose you can find it here on our web site thank you news thank you I know that everyone is desperate for lunch but we do have time for one or two questions and if you have further questions you can always contact niels of course but is there anyone that is okay bring the mic if you want my presentation here you can write me an email because I don't have the rights to all those pictures here so I have to withdraw them for the presentation was wondering about contacting sources I have a source who have talked about a couple with a couple of times but now he says more like this yeah now he says I signed a declaration of secrecy a couple of years ago and now I feel bound by that so how would you convince a source like that to keep talking to you yeah I've had that problem with the sources haven't signed agreement like that and that it means the risk for them to talk to us and to give us information it's very hard to say how to do because it's it's very can be very very risky we in one case we got some information despite this contract but we used it in a way that we've both she and we felt hundred percent sure that that wouldn't affect her position in any way but that's a common problem it guess it gets more and more common that people have to sign secrecy agreements with our employee and that means of course it's difficult for them to talk to journalists because that may take in a huge risk but many other sources are taking risks and that's why we have to be very very careful in our relation with with business sources and how we use the information and also that's why we need these tools that this conference is telling about to be make sure that what our contact with the source is traceable it not should not be traceable in any way okay a very short last question here please introduce yourself my name is ordinary Ahmed Issa from Nigeria I in the course of that short clip rather than carry that heavy folder the file along with you to give an impression that you have facts stored there maybe in a broadcast journalists will not want to use documents as such will it be okay if I give an impression like after dropping the first question and the person is like trying to answer and you give that the person the respondent an impression that you are just about to say I was told that you you you and then you you know keep it they're more like pushing the person to get under the impression that you have a lot to to tell but you're just holding back to listen to the person is save or unethical I don't think it's unethical and I thank you for the tip because I think that's you take one more step you opening all these documents and pretending even more that you have this evidence here I think it's okay thank you so much thank you

One thought on “GIJC15: The ABCs of Investigative Journalism

  1. Good to examine the real guts and sinews of investigative journalism in action from an expert and engaging exponent. Despite the curious camera angle half way through the film it did not detract from the quality of the information or its prescience.

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