The European Investigative Journalism Conference

Let’s build a food and water network!

Food and water are essentials of life and in journalism often covered from aspects close to the individual. But food and water are also big business and international politics. Dataharvest 2022 will have Food and Water as a theme – and the goal will be to build a network of investigative journalists who cover and collaborate on both the larger and the close-to-home aspects of the sectors.

The subject is of course very large and can range from EU farm subsidies to truck deliveries. We will identify key players and organisations and look into the interests shaping national and European policies on food and water.

Agricultural funds are 30 per cent of the EU budget, and we will look into the policies and the division of the funds after the new agricultural reform for 2023-27. This takes us in a way back to the roots of Dataharvest, which began with reporters working together to get data about the agricultural funds through FOI requests! Other potential topics could be land ownership, biodiversity, animal welfare, trade in food commodities, supermarkets, food security…

Water is the other part of the theme – the “oil of the future”, a valuable resource that many are poised to capitalize on. Access to clean water is jeopardized by private interests, aggressive agricultural and industrial policies. Also, privatization of water networks and wastewater management system has an effect on these public services. We will explore the influence that climate change and different industrial activities have on our drinking water and our rivers and learn more about the water stress issue in Europe.

Moreover, as the EU has pledged to reduce the use and environmental and health-related risk of chemical pesticides and fertilisers by 2050, as concrete targets of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy, the topic of pesticides in both agriculture and water management has become extremely important.

During the conference we will dive into the background for new stories on food and water, talk to the experts and the scientists and maybe form new collaborations. During the pre-conference HackDay we will find, clean and prepare datasets related to food and water, and during the conference we will explain how they can be used for your next story.