Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Pierre Romera, chief of technology at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Join us to hear how the largest cross-border collaboration to date exposes the hidden riches of the elite

The biggest leak about tax havens to date, an unprecedented journalistic collaboration spanning across the globe and a number of important revelations showing how a shadowy financial system benefits the world’s most rich and powerful. 

Join us for our next Dataharvest pop-up session with ICIJ’s Pierre Romera to learn how the largest investigation in the history of journalism came to be.

Save the date: October 13, 2021 at 10:00 AM CEST

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The Pandora Papers investigation featured more than 600 journalists from 150 news outlets and has unearthed offshore dealings of 35 current and former world leaders and more than 300 other current and former public officials and politicians around the world.

What does one do upon receiving a colossal 2.94 TB of data comprised of 11,9 millions of internal documents? How do you handle such a massive leak securely? What does it take to coordinate the reporting of 600 journalists across the world? How does one structure the research information and organise the findings of such a complex project?

Chief of technology of International Consortium of Investigative journalists (ICIJ) Pierre Romera will join us for a discussion to reveal the details behind the investigation on which he has been working on for the past two years.

You can read the Pandora papers featured articles here

Explore the biggest political names uncovered in data

Learn more about the investigation

We’re looking into who’s making profit in the elderly care business – join us on Wednesday September 22th at 10:00 am !

Across Europe, international corporations and financial investors are making huge profits on the business of care homes in which elderly people often live – and pass away – in dire circumstances.

How does this profit-making business fit within a sector that is understaffed and under-financed? Why do governments allow this to happen? And, are there alternatives to this cashing-in on an ageing society?

These are some of the questions that Investigate Europe journalists focused on in their ambitious investigation “Grey Gold – The Billion-Euro business of elder care.”

Join us for a talk with Harald Schumann, Investigate Europe’s journalist and coordinator of this investigation who will guide us through the investigation process, the data behind it and flag the stories that are still left to be told.

Save the date: Wednesday September 22th, 10:00 AM (CET)

Register for the pop-up here Read more

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

Screendump from project video, made by Alexia Barakou and produced by Reporters United.

Are rents constantly rising in your city? Has it been increasingly difficult to find adequate and affordable place? Has home ownership become only wishful thinking?

High demand for flats across European cities has made housing a very attractive investment. While many people can’t find an affordable flat to live in, reports of a huge increase in investment flows into housing across Europe go hand in hand with stories of abusive practices by ‘corporate landlords’, companies that buy and rent out housing for profit.

Where is all that money coming from? Who are the companies and investors buying so much housing across Europe? How does this phenomenon affect people’s lives and homes in European cities?

During a period of more than seven months, a team of over 25 investigative and data journalists and visualisations experts from 16 European countries, have been working on the cross-border collaborative project Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe. The project was coordinated by the Arena for Journalism in Europe.

Join us for a pop-up session  with Adriana Homolova, Hendrik Lehmann and Jose Miguel Calatayud on May 5 (10:00 AM CET).

Register here

In 2013, Madrid authorities sold more than 4,800 homes, originally intended as affordable housing, to companies controlled by American investment funds. One of the new landlords, American giant Blackstone, soon increased the rents – in some cases by doubling them over a period of three years. Many tenants ended up being evicted. 

In Lisbon, in 2017, two companies bought a building for 2.7 million euros and shortly after put it up for sale for 7 million as an “unoccupied” building, when in reality there were 12 families living there.

In ParisLondonCopenhagen and Berlin, tenants in homes owned by Swedish company Akelius have been complaining for years of abusive practices by their ‘corporate landlord’. In 2020, even the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing said that Akelius was abusing its tenants’ human rights.

Similar stories tend to repeat across Europe. Total investment into residential real estate in Europe has increased more than 700% between 2009 and 2020, from 7.9 to 66.9 billion euros, according to data by Real Capital Analytics. Corporate landlords’ are increasing their presence in different European cities, while the authorities rarely know how many homes those kinds of companies have acquired. (continued under the video)

Cross-border collaborative project Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe is envisaged as the first step towards more cross-border collaborative research into the crisis of housing affordability and how it affects people’s lives. Join us to learn how the journalists involved went ahead and started building the databases of the corporate landlords in different European countries; who these big players are, and how they’re impacting our lives.

Read the stories

The investigation received support through IJ4EU fund for cross-border investigative journalism