Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion

OSINT: Investigative Journalism in the Netherlands

Dutch Media Week programme

8 October 2021
15:00 — 16:00

Location: Online programme
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On Friday 8 October you can join us in Hilversum or online for a discussion about the use of new media and technologies in investigative journalism in the Netherlands, with Robert van der Noordaa (Trollrensics), Sanne Terlingen (Argos), Peter Keizer (Pointer) and Christiaan Triebert (New York Times). The panel is part of the Dutch Media Week (3-11 October) programme and the IMPAKT webproject OSINT (Open Source Intelligence), which provides an overview of new kinds of investigative journalism.

Discussions about the impact of social media and new technologies on journalism seldom paint a rosy picture. Under pressure from digital developments, news is increasingly provided in short, easily digestible fragments. But online technologies and new software also provide opportunities for quality news-gathering and exciting investigative journalism. What are the new ways of getting at the facts? How can Open Source INTelligence and technologies such as 3-D modelling, satellite pictures, crowdsourcing and geolocation be used? In this panel we and a number of well-known Dutch investigative journalists will be looking at these tools and their impact on investigative journalism.

Robert van der Noordaa, founder of Trollrensics, will talk about his software for identifying and investigating unauthentic patterns on social media such as Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. Trollrensics can be used to trace coordinated campaigns, bots and/or hybrid warfare. To take one specific example: each year, through NATO, Trollrensics gives Ukrainian journalists various courses that train them to identify and analyse Russian propaganda (troll armies, hybrid warfare, bots).

Sanne Terlingen is an investigative journalist for the Dutch TV channel VPRO’s Argos programme. Her work has included items on child sex tourism in Ghana and the mysterious death of the Eritrean asylum seeker Kahsay Mekonen. In 2014 she was nominated for the Dutch journalism award De Tegel, and in 2016 she won the Dick Scherpenzeel award for pioneering foreign reporting. How does she work, and what part do new technologies play in her work as an investigative journalist?

Investigative journalist Peter Keizer tells how the Dutch platform Pointer, set up by the Dutch TV channel KRO-NCRV, applies OSINT techniques to detect misinformation, map networks and provide insight into money flows.

Christiaan Triebert is an investigative journalist for The New York Times and was previously investigating for the online research collective Bellingcat. Triebert won the European Press Prize in 2017  for his research into the coup attempt in Turkey (2016). He was able to reconstruct the events on the basis of a Whats-app conversations between Turkish generals. He and his NYT team won the Pulitzer Prize in 2020 for demonstrating that Russia was involved in civilian deaths in Syria during the Syrian Civil War.

OSINT is an IMPAKT webproject on online investigative journalism and Open Source Intelligence. OSINT provides an overview of the leading international players in the field, including Bellingcat, Forensic Architecture, Airwars, the Centre for Investigative Journalism and Follow the Money. This special event at the Dutch Media Week will focus on Dutch investigative journalism.


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