Christiaan Triebert

Christiaan Triebert is a conflict researcher with Bellingcat, a multi-award winning collective that uses online open source information to investigate armed conflicts and corruption.

Among a wide variety of topics, Triebert has especially focused on investigating airstrikes in the Middle East, also in his capacity as geolocation expert for monitoring organisation Airwars.

His digital reconstruction of the Turkish coup d’état attempt won the Innovation Award of the European Press Prize.

Triebert aims to spread Bellingcat’s techniques and tools by giving worldwide digital forensics workshops, including in Iraq, Ukraine, and Colombia.

He holds a Master’s degree in Conflict, Security & Development from King’s College London, and two undergraduate degrees (International Relations, Political Philosophy) from the University of Groningen. Triebert conducted fieldwork in Syria and Iraq, among other countries.

What can journalists and regular citizens do to investigate governments and armed groups who don’t or hardly provide any information about incidents, bombings, tortures or corruption?

A growing number of citizens are pursuing facts themselves.

Bellingcat, an international investigative collective, uses online open source information in combination with digital tools to uncover the facts themselves.

How do they work, and which tools and methods do they use?

In his first presentation, Christiaan Triebert will give a unique insight into Bellingcat, thereby discussing a wide variety of cases showing how the group investigates incidents like the downing of Flight MH17, the failed coup attempt in Turkey, and fact-checking military claims with regards to airstrikes in the Middle East.

Henk van Ess

Henk van Ess is obsessed by finding news in data. 

European media houses, like Axel Springer and Persgroep love his literal and lateral thinking and hire Henk on a regular basis to spill his secrets.

He rarely appears at public conferences, so this is your chance to find out the best tricks in internet research.

Henk is a member of the investigation team at Bellingcat.

Anuška Delić

Anuška Delić, is an investigative and data journalist with Slovenia’s main daily newspaper Delo.

She has investigated a variety of issues from asbestos on state-owned train infrastructure and abuses of election campaign law, to Slovenia’s own anabolic steroid king Mihael Karner.

At the end of 2011 she uncovered that leaders of the Slovenian branch of worldwide neo-Nazi organization Blood&Honor were actively involved in the ranks of leading right-wing party. As a direct consequence of her articles, Delić was charged with publishing classified information, charges that were dramatically dropped by state prosecutors minutes before judgement. Subsequently, the Slovenian government changed the article of Criminal Code relating to publication of state secrets.

In 2015 she started The MEPs Project. She gathered journalists representing all 28 EU Member States who filed requests for access to documents of the European Parliament that show how Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) spend the professional allowances they receive on top of their paychecks. Journalists were refused access, and thus filed complaints against the European Parliament with the European Court of Justice. Cases are pending. The group launched its first investigation in May 2017, which revealed how some MEPs abused their allowance, and includes a search facility for readers to check the filings of their local MEP.

In 2015 and 2016 Delić – also a partner of OCCRP – worked on ICIJ’s Panama Papers investigation which brought her and more than ten colleagues at Delo the highest journalistic award in Slovenia: the Slovene Association of Journalists’ Watchdog Award for Extraordinary Achievements.

Twitter: @007_delic

James B. Mintz

Adjunct Professor at Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.

Jim Mintz has been an adjunct professor of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School for the past three years.  Jim is president of the Mintz Group, a research and investigative firm, and has spent 30 years conducting investigations worldwide. He helped pioneer the use of sophisticated resources by law firms in the 1970s as an in-house investigator at a Washington, D.C. law firm.

In 1980, Newsweek said of their unique in-house group: “What sets [them] apart – and a few others around the nation – is their ability to take comprehensive looks at complicated situations and make sense out of them.”  His articles include “Harassment 101: How to Handle Complaints” for the Wall Street Journal, “Strategies for Managing Complex Corporate Investigations” for the Practicing Law Institute and “Background Checking on Board Candidates” for Directors & Boards.

Two of Jim’s notable recent assignments:

  1. He was chief investigator for the Connecticut legislative committee that considered the impeachment of Governor John Rowland. Jim testified for days at televised hearings, during one of which Rowland resigned.
  2. Jim also worked on behalf of New York City on the issue of how handguns are distributed, sold and get into the hands of criminals.

Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis is Washington DC Correspondent for the Guardian.

He has won eleven major journalism prizes, and was most recently awarded the prestigious Reporter of the Year Prize at the British Press Awards in 2014 and the European Press Prize in 2013. He is the co-author of ‘Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police’ and has presented TV documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 and Al-Jazeera.

In his previous role as Special Projects Editor, Paul ran high-profile investigations and led led Reading the Riots, the landmark research study into the causes and consequences of the England riots. He is currently co-writing a book on the riots. He lectures across Europe about the use of social media in journalism and teaches a masterclass in investigative reporting.

Paul joined the Guardian as a trainee is 2005 after studying at Cambridge University and Harvard University. He lives in Washington. You can watch his 2010 TED talk here.

Gavin Sheridan

Gavin Sheridan is the founder at Vizlegal, a legal research & analytics platform.

Sheridan is the former Director of Innovation at Storyful, which was sold to News Corp in 2013. At Storyful he developed the methodologies for UGC discovery and verification that drove the newsroom, and was responsible for the development of event detection, recommendation and content discovery software. He is also an access to information (FOIA) specialist/trainer and an investigative/data journalist.

Faik Ispahiu

Faik Ispahiu has been involved in multi-media production and media development since graduating from the University of Pristina where he studied TV, film and theatre direction.

He has worked for a number of organisations, including the IREX Kosovo media programme, the public relations office of the ministry of communities, and helped to launch the TV station Kohavision.

He is the current director of Internews Kosova, which is a member of Internews International.

Ispahiu is also one of the founders and a manager of the International theatre festival Kosova InFest – the main theatre event in Kosovo.

Ispahiu is TV director and executive producer of the BIRN-organised debates Life in Kosovo.

Dragana Nikolic Solomon

Dragana Nikolic Solomon is the Head of the Media Department (2007 – present) at the OSCE Mission to Serbia where she serves as senior adviser to the Head of Mission on media issues, communicates OSCE media policy to Serbian Government, media and NGOs, as well as briefing the international community on the media environment

She also advises on the drafting of the new media legislation and provides expert counsel to legislators, the international community and governmental agencies regarding current legislation and its compliance with international standards.

Ms. Nikolic develops and manages projects, including capacity building for Serbian journalists to increase the quality of reporting, with special emphasis on South and South West Serbia.

Her extensive background includes being Serbia editor and director for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network BIRN, as well as Balkans assistant editor for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting.

Jelena Drakulic – Petrovic

Jelena Drakulic-Petrovic, general manager of the largest media publishing house in Serbia, Ringier d.o.o

Graduated from Faculty of Philology, Belgrade University in 2001. Have been at Ringier since 2004, started from Marketing, through Business development and Publishing management till becoming general manager of all Ringier activities in Serbia in 2008. Previous working expertise in sales and FMCG.

Helen Darbishire

Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe, is a human rights professional specialising in access to information, freedom of expression and media freedom

Helen has extensive experience of working to promote the right to information globally, including by assisting drafting and promoting implementation of access to information laws in Europe, Latin America, and Africa.

She is a founder and current chair of the Freedom of Information Advocates Network.

Helen’s human rights experience spans 20 years. She has worked with Article 19 (London and Paris, 1989-1998) and the Open Society Institute (Budapest and New York, 1999-2005) and as a consultant with inter-governmental organisations (including UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the World Bank).

She has published and lectured widely on freedom of expression, access to information, human rights and democratisation. She holds a degree in History and Philosophy of Science (Psychology and Philosophy) from the University of Durham, in the UK. She speaks English, French and Spanish. Helen is based in Madrid, Spain.