Registration is open for UNCOVERED, the third annual conference of the IJ4EU fund for cross-border investigative journalism. The free event takes place in Berlin on March 31 and April 1, 2022.

Organised by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom in partnership with IJ4EU consortium partners the International Press Institute and the European Journalism Centre, UNCOVERED aims to foster collaboration and encourage innovation.

Bringing together investigative journalists, funders, policymakers and civil society members, the conference will address the challenges and opportunities for conducting watchdog journalism on transnational subjects at a time of declining press freedom and pluralism.

Topics range from new approaches to funding cross-border investigative reporting to security for freelancers. Participants will delve into the backstories of inspiring investigative projects and share tips and techniques.

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Those who can’t make it to Berlin can follow the main sessions via livestream. They will also be able to view recordings of side events after the conference.

Winners of the IJ4EU Impact Award — Europe’s only award devoted exclusively to cross-border journalism — will be announced during a ceremony at the end of the first day. Three winning teams selected by an independent jury will each get €5,000.

In alphabetical order, the 10 shortlisted nominees are The Abortion Pill Reversal Project, Cities for Rent, Frontex Complicit in Pushbacks, The Frontex Files, Hunting Lukashenko’s Wallets, The Logbook of Moria, Money to Burn, Passport Papers, The Pegasus Project and Radicals with Reach.

Below is a summary of the conference agenda. All times are in Central European Time. Visit the conference website for more information.

Thursday, March 31

Main events (live-streamed)

13:00-13:20: Opening Remarks

13:20-13:45: Keynote Speech

In her keynote address, Ukrainian journalist Anna Babinets will talk about the resilience of investigative journalists, especially under extreme conditions like those she and her team have faced following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She will also draw on her experience of transitioning from investigating crime and corruption to reporting on the war.

13:50-14:40: Looking East: Investigating the EU’s ‘Near Abroad’

Long before Russia invaded Ukraine, investigative journalists had countries on the EU’s eastern flank in their sights. IJ4EU grantees discuss cross-border projects linked to Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, along with their experiences since the start of the war in Ukraine.

14:40-15:10: Coffee Break

15:10-16:00: Countering SLAPPs: How to Protect Journalists?

This panel will discuss the use of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) to target and restrict journalists and media workers across Europe, reflecting on the latest developments in the legislative process to protect media freedom.

16:10-17:00: New Donor Strategies: How to Fund Your Investigation?

The world is changing and so are the ways of funding cross-border investigative journalism. ​This panel discusses new trends and challenges in supporting journalism, including the use of both public and philanthropic money.

17:00-18:30: IJ4EU Impact Award Ceremony

Attending jury members:

Side Events (recorded)

13:50-14:40: IJ4EU Showcase: Into the Shadows

From dark corners of the web to unlawful mass surveillance, IJ4EU grantees discuss cross-border crime.

  • Zlatina Siderova,IJ4EU Project Manager, European Journalism Centre (moderator)
  • Jelena Prtoric, Croatian Freelance journalist
  • Giacomo Zandonini, Swiss-Italian journalist
  • Stefano Vergine, Italian investigative journalist

15:10-16:00: ​​IJ4EU Showcase: Chasing Environmental Issues

Environmental issues do not stop at national frontiers. IJ4EU grantees showcase their cross-border investigations.

  • Gürkan Özturan, Media Freedom Rapid Response Project Coordinator, ECMPF (moderator)
  • Ludovica Jona Lasinio, Freelance investigative journalist
  • Stefano Valentino, Freelance entrepreneurial journalist
  • Rudi Bressa, Freelance environmental journalist

16:10-17:10: Fact-Checking in Times of Conflict – Tactics for the Newsroom and Beyond

This one-hour workshop will feature a presentation of the verification toolkit WeVerify, an overview of journalist-led news-literacy project Lie Detectors and discussion of fact-checking needs outside traditional media.

Friday, April 1

Main events (live-streamed)

09:30-09:40: Opening Remarks

Věra Jourová, Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, will talk about how the European Media Freedom Act is a pillar of freedom and protection for cross-border investigative journalism.

09:45-10:40: Dangerous Journeys: The Dark Side of EU Migration Policy

Underage migrants convicted of human trafficking. Families unable to identify loved ones who perished en route to Europe. Cross-border tragedies fuelled by private and public funds. IJ4EU grantees look at failures of EU migration and asylum policy.

  • Lars Boering, Director, European Journalism Centre (moderator)
  • Geesje van Haren, investigative journalist
  • Annie Hylton, investigative journalist
  • Judith Chetrit, writer/audio documentary producer

10:50-11:40: Surveillance: Is Pegasus the Tip of the Iceberg?

Who is targeting journalists with surveillance and what does it mean for cross-border investigative journalism?

  • Jamie Wiseman, Advocacy Officer, International Press Institute (moderator)
  • Frederik Obermaier, Investigative journalist, Süddeutsche Zeitung
  • Lisa Dittmer, Advocacy Officer for Internet Freedom, RSF Germany

11:40-12:10: Coffee Break

12:10-13:00: Duty of Care: Who’s Responsible for Protecting Freelancers?

Freelance journalists are the least protected group among media workers. This panel discusses obstacles encountered especially by freelance cross-border investigative journalists in Europe and potential solutions to their problems.

  • Scott Griffen, Deputy Director, International Press Institute (moderator)
  • Gürkan Özturan, Media Freedom Rapid Response Project Coordinator, ECMPF
  • Renate Schroeder, Director, European Federation of Journalists
  • Anastasia Kirilenko, Russian freelance journalist

13:00-13:15: Concluding Remarks

  • Lutz Kinkel, Managing Director, ECPMF
  • Scott Griffen, Deputy Director, International Press Institute
  • Lars Boering, Director, European Journalism Centre

Side Events (recorded)

09:45-10:40: Workshop: Under Pressure but Resilient

This Dart Center workshop focuses on ways to take care of your and your colleagues’ mental health while working on your investigations, helping you differentiate between different types of trauma, understand strategies for resilience, and recognise the impact of trauma for you and your team.

  • Gavin Rees, Senior Advisor for Training and Innovation, Dart Centre
  • Michael Pfister, Director of Photography, Zeit Online

10:50-11:40: IJ4EU Showcase: Following the COVID Data

Three IJ4EU cross-border investigative teams present projects unlocking hidden stories behind the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and beyond.

  • Andreas Lamm, Deputy Managing Director & Art Director, ECPMF (moderator)
  • Hristio Boytchev, Freelance investigative health journalist
  • Eva von Schaper, German-American journalist
  • Lise Barnéoud, French freelance science journalist