How to investigate the deteriorating work conditions and insecure jobs in Europe – Wednesday July 7th at 10 am!

“Is work working” is a question that The Bureau Local journalists asked themselves, before plunging into a months-long investigation into the gig work economy.

The number of people in insecure jobs in the UK has risen steadily over the past decade with the growth of zero-hours contracts, an expanding gig economy and changes to the wider labour market. One in nine workers – 3.6 million people – were in insecure jobs even before the pandemic,” noted the Bureau.

During the pandemic the situation has deteriorated, with already over-worked and under-payed workers seeing further erosion of their rights. But how to investigate big companies that often make their employees work long hours and don’t pay them adequately – but don’t give out their data? The Bureau decided to get the information from the people employed within the industry, and also engage them as participatory journalists on the story.

Emiliano Mellino, The Bureau Local journalist, and Ethan Bradley, a Deliveroo rider who worked with The Bureau as a participant journalist on the project, will join us for a panel to talk about their cross-disciplinary collaboration and the methodology they used during the investigation.

Save the date: Wednesday July 7, 10.00 AM (CET)

Register for the pop-up here

The panel will take us through the steps that the Bureau Local team took during this collaborative investigation into the issues of insecure work and gig economy. They started by launching a call addressed to anyone – not just journalists, but also experts and workers – who had an idea for a story they thought was worth telling.

They identified key ideas they wanted to pursue working on, and engaged with participant journalists – workers in different industries – that investigated the story with them. They also set up an online data gathering form through which they were able to analyse thousands of invoices from more than 300 riders over the past year. The analysis showed “that one in three made on average less than £8.72, the national minimum wage for those over 25, for their overall time per session in the app.”

Read their stories here:

Amazon’s empty pledge leaves agency workers without shifts and pay

Agency work pits “minnow against the whale”

Deliveroo riders can earn as little as 22 pounds an hour during shifts, as boss stands to make 500M pounds

Over the past decade, the European Union has spent billions of euros in public funds on policing, border control and counter-terrorism. Three investigative journalists spent months investigating and gathering data from open sources and dozens of FOI requests to map EU’s security funding programs.

To learn what they’ve found out and how they’ve done it, join us for a Pop-Up session with investigative journalist Caitlin L. Chandler on June 16 at 10 am CEST.

Register here.

Caitlin L. Chandler, Chris Jones and Zach Campbell wanted to know how the EU’s security funding shapes our everyday lives, travel and rights to privacy. They discovered an opaque and over-bureaucratic system of funding that rarely gets under public scrutiny. The funding has gone to “to develop pan-European police networks and border surveillance systems.”

With help of data journalist Simon Wörpel,  they also built a public database aimed at journalists, NGOs and everyone who’s interested in knowing more about how the EU spends money on security-related projects. They also discovered that the EU, despite its claims to want to promote peace, wants to use public money to fund the supply of weapons to foreign armies.

You can search the database here.

You can read their stories here:

Their research received support from IJ4EU

Thank you for now! The 3-week Dataharvest conference just ended, and we are so happy that many joined in and hopefully learnt new things, even if we have had enough of video conferences, and even if early summer is beckoning from the outside.

Tell us what worked and
what could be improved

We are not finished yet! During the rest of the year, we will have Pop-Up sessions with new investigations and a series of master classes with essential techniques and tools for investigative journalists. The Pop-Ups are free, and your Dataharvest ticket also includes the master classes.

Next year in Mechelen! How we look forward to meeting you all face to face again! The next Dataharvest conference will take place in Mechelen, Belgium, on May 19-22, 2022. Pre-conference meetings and master classes on the 19, full-fledged conference from Friday 20th at 10 until Sunday lunch. See you there!

Do you have ideas? – Pitch them here!

Thank you for your support – to all participants, but not least to our beloved speakers who all volunteered to share their knowledge, to our partner organisations who inspired and challenged us, and to the funders who supported the conference and helped us through this difficult period.

The next Pop-Up is already on June 16 at 10 am. See you around!

Best regards,

The Dataharvest & EIJC team