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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

Register here

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

Photo: Christina Victoria Craft

Doctors on four continents, supported by US Christian right activists, are providing women with “dangerous” and unproven treatments that claim to ‘reverse’ medical abortions. This was proven in late March by reporters from OpenDemocracy.

How did they research such a personal and delicate matter? And how big is this problem in Europe? Find out in the second Dataharvest Pop-Up, taking place on April 21 at 2 pm CET.

Register here!

Undercover reporters contacted a hotline run by US Christian right activists and were connected to local doctors in their own countries who were willing to prescribe so-called ‘abortion pill reversal’ by phone or email.

‘Abortion pill reversal’ (APR) involves taking high doses of progesterone, a hormone, following the first of two pills used for a medical abortion. Health experts say it is unlikely to ‘reverse’ a medical abortion, and there are also concerns about using progesterone (in itself not dangerous) for this ‘treatment’. A US medical trial into APR was halted in 2019 after some participants were sent to hospital with severe haemorrhaging. The trial’s lead researcher said it was stopped because “It wasn’t safe for me to expose women to this treatment.” 

However, the US hotline connected reporters to local doctors who were willing to provide prescriptions in 12 countries, in Europe and beyond. Only in two countries  were local contacts unwilling to help women take this ‘treatment’, calling it unproven and possibly unsafe.

Join us for a session with Claire Provost, Tatev Hovhannisyan and Zeynep Sentek to learn how they followed the lead from the US hotline to specific countries and doctors around the world. They will share tips on how to go undercover while reporting (including how to prepare a good cover story), and how to combine this method with a data-driven investigation approach.

In the past, openDemocracy revealed Heartbeat’s links to anti-abortion projects around the world that use misinformation in their efforts to discourage women from ending pregnancies under any circumstances and established that groups linked to US Christian right groups have poured millions of dollars into activities of conservative groups globally, for example groups fighting LGBTQ rights.

Register here!

Where did the idea for a great cross-border investigation come from? How did the reporters accomplish their results? Which challenges did they meet on the way? In sessions under the label “The making of…”, Dataharvest will over the coming months invite you to meet the reporters behind a story and hear them present a cross-section of the work from idea to publication.

These sessions will hopefully inspire you for your own work – and give you a chance to follow the developments of investigations across Europe, even if we are all tied down by our keyboards for a few more months.

The first session is next week! On Wednesday March 22, Maxime Vaudano, Jérémie Baruch and Maxime Ferrer from Le Monde will share how they got and analysed the data for OpenLux, an investigation conducted by Le Monde along with ten media partners about the tax haven in the heart of Europe: Luxembourg.

Following “The making of…” sessions will be on April 14 at 2 pm, May 5 at 10 am, June 16 at 2 pm, September 22 at 10 am, October 13 at 2 pm, November 24 at 10 am, and December 9 at 2 pm.

The sessions will be free of charge, and you register for them here.

Do you know of a great investigation that should be highlighted in a session? Please get in touch with us!

Maxime Vaudano

Jérémie Baruch

Our series of Dataharvest Pop-Ups opens with the OpenLux investigation that put pressure on Luxembourg, a tax haven in the heart of Europe.

The tiny state of Luxembourg is the world’s second-biggest destination for foreign capital, thanks to the opacity of its financial systems. In 2018, the country created a database that would reveal the ultimate beneficial owners of all the companies registered therein. However, the database is not searchable by the owners’ names, which made it much harder to determine beneficial owners. 

But a team from the French newspaper Le Monde managed to scrape the registry’s website and obtain 3.3 million documents, covering hundreds of thousands of companies based in Luxembourg. With a help of their international media partners, Le Monde’s team dug deeper into the people who are benefiting from the companies and explored weaknesses in anti-money laundering frameworks in Luxembourg and the EU.

Maxime Vaudano, Jérémie Baruch and Maxime Ferrer from Le Monde will share with us the making of Open Lux, explain to us how they’ve managed to analyse the documents and identify people of interest in the datasets and cross-check them.

Join us for the first Dataharvest Pop-Up session on March 24, 10.00 CET. Register here.

Register for the main program of Dataharvest 2021 here: https://dataharvest.eu/register/