I had an immensely stimulating time during my recent mini-tour of Scandinavian investigative journalism conferences, meeting informed, interesting, and interested people.
The focus of my talks was the nexus between the intelligence world and the media – lessons I had learned, researched and deduced during the whistleblowing years and beyond. I have heard so many hair-raising media stories over the years….
And, having listened to the experiences of journalists from a wide variety of other countries, it seems I am on the right track.
First stop was the Grav conference in Sweden, where I gave a talk and had the pleasure of meeting investigative journalists who confirmed what I was saying, even if some of them didn’t think I had quite gone far enough! We also had fun at the “mingel” evening.
Next stop, next day, was the SKUP conference in Norway where I did a talk, and also a debate about the media and whistleblowers. Note to self: never, ever agree to do a morning debate after the legendary SKUP party the night before.
Finally, last weekend, I visited the Tutki 2012 journalism conference in Finland (Download Helsinki_Talk). The response was overwhelmingly positive, and once again I had confirmation of what I was saying from the journalists themselves.
So what can we do about this situation? I shall keep spreading the word, and the journalists themselves just need to keep saying a resounding “no” to the inducements, at least if they want to work on meaningful investigations. And what real journalist doesn’t, au fond?
Next stop Geneva, which is why I’m limbering up with the French.