Pavla Holcova

Pavla Holcova is the founder of the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism, where she has investigated numerous cases concerning Serbian organised crime figures, Macedonian secret service investments in Prague, money laundering, and offshore companies.

She is a co-recipient of the Global Shining Light Award, which honours investigative journalism in developing and transitioning countries, and an EU Award for Investigative Journalism.

Holcova works closely with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting project on various international projects and investigations.

Before founding the Czech Center, she worked for six years at the People in Need humanitarian and human rights organisation as head of the Cuban section, and for Europe’s largest developer of open source tools for news media, Sourcefabric.

Matthew Caruana Galizia

Matthew Caruana Galizia is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and software engineer.

He worked at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for five years, where he co-founded the organisation’s Data and Research Unit in 2014 and was a lead engineer on six major investigations: Offshore Leaks, Swiss Leaks, Luxembourg Leaks, Fatal Extraction, Panama Papers, and Paradise Papers.

Caruana Galizia left the ICIJ in 2018 to continue working on the case around the assassination of his mother, Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist who was killed by a car bomb near her home in Malta in October 2017.

Susanne Reber

Susanne Reber is an award-winning veteran investigative editor, author and executive producer.

She has a knack for innovation and specialises in assembling and managing strong collaborative teams to investigate, create and tell stories on multiple mediums.

She is the co-founder of Reveal and the former executive editor of the Peabody award-winning national investigative radio programme and podcast.

Prior to founding her own consulting practice, Reber worked at the Center for Investigative Reporting, CIR, where she held various senior editorial roles, including Director of Digital Media, responsible for all content in film, audio and digital.

Her investigative projects have garnered her three Peabody Awards, an Emmy and a DuPont award among many others, and were showcased in national and international film festivals.

In 2013, she co-created Reveal to showcase investigative narrative stories, taking the programme from idea to reality. The pilot episode won the team a Peabody award. In 2015, after the programme’s team was fully staffed, Reber moved into the role of Executive Editor, recruiting, cultivating and managing partner relationships. This work took her all over the country and the world.

Prior to joining CIR in 2012, Reber formed and led NPR’s first Investigations Unit, which won multiple Peabody Awards, a Polk award, a Robert F. Kennedy Award and numerous others during her tenure.

Before moving to the US, Reber spent 23 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., where she held various editorial leadership roles, including deputy managing editor of National Radio News and executive producer of CBC’s Michener Award-winning Investigative Unit from 2003 to 2009.

Reber is the co-author of Starlight Tour: The Last Lonely Night of Neil Stonechild, and is currently working on a new release of the book with Random House.

Reber also co-wrote and produced Faint Hope, a five-part, non-fiction audio docu-drama that was broadcast nationally and based on the suspicious death of Laurence Stocking. (CBC Radio Drama)

Reber graduated from the University of London with a bachelor’s degree in German and French language and literature. She earned her graduate diploma in broadcast journalism from City, University of London. Reber is based in Washington DC and splits her time between the US, Canada, and Switzerland.

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

Jeta Xharra

Jeta Xharra is the BIRN Kosovo Director and presenter and editor of the television debate show “Life in Kosova”, a program that has for the last five years pushed out the boundaries of debate, opening up taboo subjects that Kosovo society previously shied away from discussing. It has become the most watched current affairs program in Kosovo.

Xharra entered journalism as a fixer/field producer during the war for BBC News and Channel 4 in 1998 and later became the manager of the BBC Kosova Bureau. During the NATO campaign in 1999, she worked for BBC News in Albania, Macedonia, and Kosovo.

She completed an MA in War Studies at King’s College London (2000), and gained an MA in Screenwriting from the London College of Printing with distinction (2002).

While completing her studies in the UK, Jeta Xharra worked part time as Assistant Editor for the Newsgathering Planning Team in the BBC World Service news in London and for Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

Xharra has written for international publications, including The Independent, The Economist, Sunday Telegraph and Janes Intelligence Review.

In the UK, Xharra worked for the Foreign News Planning Desk at the BBC World Service, returned to Kosovo in 2003 where she became one of the founders of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

Ognian Zlatev

Ognian Zlatev was born on 6.3.1963 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He graduated from the Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski and holds an M.A. in Classical Philology with specializations in Ancient Greek Culture and Bulgarian Language and Literature

Mr. Zlatev has completed a number of trainings and has obtained qualifications in political communication, media relations, journalism training, international PR, European Union communications, election campaigning, and media development.

He currently works as Managing Director of the Media Development Center in Bulgaria. The organisation was established in 1998 to promote the development of independent media in Bulgaria, to foster media capacity building and to boost networking and cross-border cooperation in Southeast Europe.

He is a founding member and board member of the South East European Network for Professionalization of the Media (SEENPM), which currently includes fifteen media centers and institutes from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia. From 2002 to 2004 he was the president of the organization.

Ognian Zlatev also works as an external communications and public outreach consultant for the World Bank Office in Bulgaria and as a media expert for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and UNESCO.

He has been a lecturer at the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Albanian Media Institute in Tirana and Media Plan Institute in Sarajevo, as well as a speaker at numerous international conferences in Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

He has worked as director of Information Centres for the Open Society Institute in Sofia,  manager of the BBC Centre in Bulgaria and an exchange officer at the British Council office in Bulgaria.

Ognian Zlatev is a board member of the National Council for Journalism Ethics of Bulgaria. He sits on the steering committee of the Global Forum for Media Development and on the Board of SEENPM. He is a member of the selection committee of the annual Robert Schumann Award of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria and of the Dr. Erhard Busek SEEMO Award for Better Understanding.

Besar Likmeta

Besar Likmeta is the editor for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, in Albania.Since 2003 he has worked as a journalist for various print publications, electronic media and television

He started his career reporting for the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville, Florida.

He moved to Albania in 2005 where he has been a features editor for the Tirana Times, a world news editor for the 24 hour news channel, TV Ora News, and since 2007 as BIRN Albania editor.

He has also contributed stories to various publications such as The Christian Science Monitor, Global Post, Transitions Online and World Politics Review.

In 2009 Likmeta received the CEI/SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism and in 2010 was runner up to the Global Shining Light Award, presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Geneva.