The European Investigative Journalism Conference

How we plan the Dataharvest program

Did you pitch a session for the Dataharvest program? Then you probably wonder what happens to your proposal now. Here is what is going on behind the scenes:

We plan the conference program track by track. For each we collect all the ideas that we have gathered and received. That may be a list of 30 ideas, but we may only have 12 time slots for the track.

Then the discussion begins on how to balance sessions on concrete stories with sessions on collaboration methods, experiences from East and West, big projects with smaller etcetera. We also have an eye on speakers to make sure that a multitude of countries are represented, that we have a reasonable gender balance etc.

Who makes the selection? Arena staff, of course, but in each track, we also involve other good people – colleagues with a big overview and knowledge of a certain field or with good insight in “who” and “what” in certain geographical regions. The final responsibility is on the shoulders of Brigitte Alfter and Trine Smistrup – complaints should go to us!

When will I hear something? We are already far into planning the program and will be in touch with you as soon as we can – maybe to say ‘yes and thank you’ to your idea as it is, maybe to discuss how to combine it with a similar idea from another country. And of course, there are ideas we must decline – maybe because they are not within the conference scope, maybe because there simply is a limit to the number of sessions at the conference.

Do I get invited if my pitch is accepted? Dataharvest is a low-budget conference, so we will ask if your newsroom can pay for your travel and hotel. We can waive the conference fee, and we do have a small travel budget for speakers that need it. But register, if you want to be sure to participate – there are only 500 conference tickets!

Is it too late for new ideas? No, we have a constant eye on new ideas coming in and keep some time slots open, so we can be flexible. Send your pitch here – deadline April 1!

What is a good pitch? First of all, Dataharvest is all about sharing – of experiences, methods, successes and failures. Do you know software, that others can benefit from? Have you used innovative methods in your investigations? Did you make a mistake that others could avoid? Other keywords for a good pitch are: European – cross-border – collaboration – data – digital. Think about the format – is your idea fit for a presentation, a workshop, a panel debate or maybe a networking session? Make the point clear and keep the pitch short!

Thanks for all your ideas – see you in Mechelen!