BIRN Summer School Day 2: Online Self-Protection Training

On the second day of BIRN’s Summer School of Investigative Reporting, participants were taught how to ensure their own themselves in the digital environment and got tips on how to conduct investigations.

The second day of BIRN’s Summer School of Investigative Reporting started with sessions on digital security entitled How to Keep Your Work Safe.

BIRN journalist and a digital security trainer Milica Stojanovic explained the importance of cyber-safety to the participants, saying that “digital security is a habit; like a habit to lock your door when you leave the house”.

Stojanovic guided participants through the most secure applications and offered tips on how to set up the best passwords.

“Passwords are your best friend from now until the end of everything. It should have at least 16 characters and it should be changed every six months. For each account you should have another password,” Stojanovic said.

BIRN journalist Claudia Ciobanu talked about the investigation project Polish Forests Full of Fear. Ciobanu has been following the migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarussian border for a year now and the project’s site contains the most complete data on migrants who are stuck at the border.

Ciobanu presented her multimedia investigation to the participants, explaining the obstacles and challenges she came across while reporting.The Q&A session that followed addressed practical and ethical aspects of investigative journalism.

Kai Biermann, an editor at German newspaper Die Zeit, gave examples of data visualisation and talked about the process of gathering data.

“Statistics are fine but often don’t answer your questions. The problem is finding the data. You should also ask: can you generate it yourself?” Biermann said during the last session of the second day.

The Summer School continues on Wednesday with lessons on financial flows and a panel discussion dedicated to war reporting and war reporters who were killed while on assignment.