The rise of the Internet and smart phones has disrupted how people consume news and how journalism is funded. Yet the digital revolution also continues to hold promise for the news media in general and for investigative reporting in particular. The explosion of podcasts in recent years is but one example.
In many ways, it is the best of times and worst of times for investigative journalism. Big, cross-border investigations like the Paradise and Panama Papers, both uncovering a network of secret offshore companies to hide money, proved that public interest journalism and international collaboration – hundreds of investigative journalists joined forces to work on each project – can generate a global impact and a chain of reactions to stem tax evasion.
In Bulgaria and the region, where press freedom – one of the core principles of every democratic society – is under threat, investigative stories are much needed to expose wrongdoing and tell the truth.
In the era of fast news, widespread disinformation, and political leaders from across the globe engaging in anti-journalistic rhetoric, we need watchdog journalism more than ever. While investigative reporting is a costly endeavor and takes time to produce, it is still central to hold governments accountable and to inform but also empower citizens. Technology innovation and new formats such as podcasts can aid reporters’ efforts to find readers, listeners, and viewers where they are.

WHERE

National Palace of Culture (Hall 8)

WHEN

13-14 March

ndk

Agenda

Friday, March 13

 

9:00 – 9:30 Registration

9:30 – 10:00 Opening Remarks
Welcome by Nancy Schiller, President and CEO of the America for Bulgaria Foundation
Welcome by David McDonald, Executive Director of the World Press Institute
Welcome by Irina Nedeva, Chair of the Association of European Journalists in Bulgaria

10:00 – 11:00 Keynote Speech
James Fallows, Staff Writer at The Atlantic

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:15 New Trends in Investigative Journalism
Michael Montgomery, Senior Reporter and Producer for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting
Paul Steiger, Executive Chairman of ProPublica
Britta von der Heide, head of the Investigations Department at NDR, the large German public broadcaster in Hamburg

12:15 – 13:15 Lunch

13:15 – 14:30 How Podcasts are Transforming Journalism: The Story of the Bulgarian Crypto-Queen
Michael Montgomery, Senior Reporter and Producer for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting
Nickolay Stoyanov, Investigative Journalist at Capital Weekly

14:30 – 15:30 Journalism Under Attack
Kaius Niemi, Senior Editor-in-Chief of Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish newspaper
Paul Steiger, Executive Chairman of ProPublica
Anna Babinets, Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder of Slidstvo.Info, a Ukranian investigative journalism agency

15:30 – 15:45 Coffee Break

15:45 – 16:30 Reporting on America: The WPI experience
Moderator: David McDonald, Executive Director of the World Press Institute
Panel of Bulgarian WPI Alumni – TBD

16:30 – 17:30 How to Join the Podcast Revolution?
Michael Montgomery, Senior Reporter and Producer for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting
Camilla Bath, journalist, editor and media trainer, based in South Africa

Saturday, March 14

 

9:00 – 9:30 Registration

9:30 – 10:30 Investigative Reporting: The Nonprofit Model
Michael Montgomery, Senior Reporter and Producer for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting
Paul Steiger, Executive Chairman of ProPublica
Spas Spasov, founder of Za Istinata (For the Truth), an independent, online media platform for regional journalism in Bulgaria
Anna Babinets, Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder of Slidstvo.Info, a Ukranian investigative journalism agency

10:30 – 11:30 Investigative Stories: How to Reach Your Audience
James Fallows, Staff Writer at The Atlantic
Britta von der Heide, head of the Investigations Department at NDR, the large German public broadcaster in Hamburg
Camilla Bath, journalist, editor and media trainer, based in South Africa

11:30 – 11:45 Coffee Break

11:45 – 13:00 Charting the Future of Independent Media in Bulgaria
Speakers: TBD

13:00 -13:15 Concluding Remarks

Speakers

Anna Babinets
Anna Babinets

Editor-in-Chief @ Slidstvo.Info

Anna Babinets is the Editor-in-Chief of SLIDSTVO.INFO, an investigative journalism agency, based in Kyiv, Ukraine. The agency specializes in investigating corruption and organized crime in Ukraine. She is also regional editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an investigative network.

Camilla Bath
Camilla Bath

Journalist, Editor & Media trainer

Camilla Bath is a journalist, editor and media trainer, based in South Africa. As a freelancer and entrepreneur, she is exploring new forms of storytelling in journalism and the media space, with a special interest in podcasting. She helped bring to life several of South Africa’s most recognised news podcasts, including “Poisonous Bullets: The Silent Betrayal of Sindiso Magaqa” and “Through the Cracks: The Untold Story of Mbuyisa Makhubu”.

James Fallows
James Fallows

Writer and Journalist @ The Atlantic

James Fallows is a staff writer at The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the 2018 book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, which was a national best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.

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Fallows has worked for the magazine for more than 40 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Shanghai, Beijing, and London.
Fallows won the National Magazine Award for his 2002 story “Iraq: The Fifty-First State?” warning about the consequences of invading Iraq; he has been a finalist four other times. He has also won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for his book National Defense and an N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China.

Britta von der Heide
Britta von der Heide

Head of Investigations Department @ NDR

Britta von der Heide is the head of the Investigations Department at NDR, the large German public broadcaster in Hamburg. The Department is responsible for investigative stories of NDR that appear on television, radio and online. From 2014 to 2019, Britta was a filmmaker, editor and deputy head of the Investigation Department for the cooperation of NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung”, where she was involved in investigative projects including the Panama Papers and the Implant Files.

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She has been responsible for various reports and documentaries including the first television interview in Germany of an ISIS returnee and a report on a major child abuse scandal in Germany. Britta and her team have just won the German Audio Book Award in the Podcast category for “Leonora – How a father lost his daughter to ISIS”.

Michael Montgomery
Michael Montgomery

Senior Reporter and Producer @ Reveal

Michael Montgomery is an award-winning reporter and broadcast producer for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. A veteran of radio/podcasts, television and newspapers, Montgomery has led major collaborations with the Associated Press, NPR, BBC, APM and Frontline and is a longtime member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. His stories on human rights abuses in Kosovo led to the creation of a new war crimes court based in The Hague. Montgomery’s journalism honors include Peabody, duPont, Murrow, IRE, Third Coast and Oversees Press Club awards.

Kaius Niemi
Kaius Niemi

Senior Editor-in-Chief @ Helsingin Sanomat

Kaius Niemi is the Senior Editor-in-Chief of the leading Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat since 2013. He began his journalistic career as a television and radio reporter at the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE in the 1990s. Niemi is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, a member of the Executive Board of the International Press Institute and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Press Institute.

Spas Spasov
Spas Spasov

Correspondent @ Capital Weekly & Dnevnik.bg

Spas Spasov is a Varna-based correspondent for Capital weekly and Dnevnik.bg. His decades-long career includes reporting for various print and broadcast media. In 1995, he developed the program concept for the first FM news radio station in Bulgaria, which broadcasts news updates every twenty minutes. He completed the Internet Media course of the Centre de formation et perfectionnement des journalistes in Paris, France. He also interned at Radio France Internationale and France info and completed exchange programs in the United States and the Netherlands. He has a master’s degree from the University of Veliko Tarnovo.

Paul Steiger
Paul Steiger

Executive Chairman @ Pro Publica

Paul E. Steiger was the founding editor-in-chief, CEO and president of ProPublica from 2008 through 2012. Since then, as Executive Chairman and board member, he remains actively involved in strategic issues, development, representing ProPublica in public venues, and consulting with management on business and editorial issues.
Steiger served as the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 2007. During his tenure, members of the Journal’s newsroom staff were awarded 16 Pulitzer Prizes. In addition, ProPublica reporters received Pulitzer Prizes in May 2010 and 2011.

Nickolay Stoyanov
Nickolay Stoyanov

Investigative Journalist @ Capital Weekly

Nickolay Stoyanov is an investigative journalist and finance editor at Capital weekly, where he has worked since 2006. Some of his most prominent investigations include a series of stories documenting the demise of Corporate Commercial Bank, which went bankrupt in 2014. His investigation into the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam has been widely recognized and often quoted in international media. He has a degree in international business from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

Organizers

Organized by

WPI

Supported by

America for Bulgaria
AEJ

Location

National Palace of Culture, Sofia

Contacts:

 

Ivan Radev, AEJ-Bulgaria

+359889388619

radev@aej-bulgaria.org