The European Investigative Journalism Conference

What makes a great Dataharvest session

Each year, we are pleasantly surprised by the number of quality pitches we receive. The best ideas come from our community, and we are looking forward to your contributions this year! The call for proposals is now open. But what makes a great Dataharvest session? Here are some guidelines:

  • Think methodology, not content: Tell us HOW you did something, rather than WHAT you did. For example, don’t pitch “We exposed Russian smugglers” – instead pitch “How to track Russian weapon smugglers on Telegram”. Be concrete and instructive, so colleagues can learn from your experience.
  • Do you have a (nerdy) skill or a helpful tool? We are interested in those! You can pitch us a session/workshop about teaching a specific OSINT skill, a visualization tool you want to showcase, or a data set that you put together and other journalists could benefit from.
  • Please be as detailed as possible. We can work together and shape your initial idea, but please explain your proposal in more detail than “using OSINT in war context”. Explain what the audience will get out of your session, and let us know what your particular expertise or connection is within the topic.
  • Think European: Dataharvest is the European investigative journalism conference (and no, Europe is not only the EU, but all the Council of Europe countries). Stories may take place outside of Europe, but they need to have a European connection (an example: Wagner group). Unfortunately, we are unable to subsidise travel of speakers coming from outside of Europe.
  • Think European and national: You may have a great national investigation on a topic that is equally relevant in other countries. Pitch this kind of session as an “instant inspiration” session where you explain to others how they can do they same on their home turf.
  • Don’t be (too) academic: We don’t have many general debates and presentations of papers about the future of journalism, but we will consider a session that present an academic work or a dataset that journalists can work with, or talks about a collaborative research between journalists or scientists etc.

When it comes to the session types, we in general distinguish between:

Presentations – a session that has one or maximum two speakers presenting a specific methodology or a dataset (check out some of the examples of last year: “Farm subsidy dataset“,”LobbyFacts – investigating EU lobbying“, or Finding facts about people”) or a presentation of a particular investigation (example: “How to practice a peer-reviewed journalism”).

Panels – a number of speakers talking about a specific topic, dilemma or methodology (e.g. “How can investigative journalists collaborate with artists”, or “Working with NGOs and activists – no problem or no-go?”)

Roundtables – group brainstorm about a hot-button topic or a method (e.g. “Labour roundtable: Let’s talk about work!” or “Urban journalism is the future! Connect with journalists from other cities to improve your research”)

As a rule of thumb, we are looking more for presentations than panels, and for panels more than roundtables. Due to the budget restrictions, we can in general only subsidise travel and accommodation of one speaker of the same organisation per presentation (or two if they bring in different competences to the session). But we are interested in all fresh, creative and inspiring ideas, so send your proposals to us, and we will figure out the logistics!

The Dataharvest team is small, but passionate. We are all first and foremost journalists, not professional conference organisers; we are embedded in the investigative, cross-border and data journalism community and seek to offer the content that appeals to and is useful for others in the community. We rely on your ideas and engagement to create a successful conference. Thank you for helping us out and trusting us with your ideas!

Stay tuned! We will have an online session in December where you can ask us all your questions about pitching ideas for Dataharvest – the European Investigative Journalism Conference 2024!

Go to the form to pitch a session.