The Scandinavian Tour 2012

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.

Grav_talkFirst 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.

And now to Finland.…

Tutki2012_logoMy grand tour around Scand­inavia con­tin­ues next week­end, when I shall be giv­ing the open­ing key­note at the Tutki!2012 invest­ig­at­ive journ­al­ism con­fer­ence in Hel­sinki.  Look­ing for­ward to the con­fer­ence!

Talks in Sweden and Norway

Off on my travels again at the end of the week, with two key­notes at Scand­inavi­an journ­al­ism con­fer­ences.

Grav_logo I shall first be speak­ing at the Grav con­fer­ence in Sweden on Fri­day 23 March.

SKUP_2012Top­ics under dis­cus­sion will include everything from secur­ity and intel­li­gence to the war on ter­ror, civil liber­ties to eth­ics and media freedoms, gov­ern­ment account­ab­il­ity to whis­tleblow­ing and Wikileaks.

On Sat­urday I travel on to Nor­way to speak at the SKUP con­fer­ence to give a talk and also on Sunday morn­ing to par­ti­cip­ate in a pan­el dis­cus­sion about all things whis­tleblow­ing and Wikileaks. I gath­er that such dis­cus­sions can get quite, um, lively.

I’m look­ing for­ward to an inter­est­ing and stim­u­lat­ing week­end.

The Big Dig Journalism Conference, Copenhagen

I recently did the open­ing key­note at the Big Dig invest­ig­at­ive journ­al­ism con­fer­ence in Copen­ha­gen.  Thanks to the organ­isers for a won­der­ful week­end!

Mediafabric talk, Prague, October 2011

Last Octo­ber I had the pleas­ure of speak­ing at the excel­lent Medi­afab­ric con­fer­ence in Prague.  The focus of my talk was the future of intel­li­gence, whis­tleblow­ing and journ­al­ism.

The event was organ­ised by Source­fab­ric, an inter­na­tion­al organ­isa­tion that provides open source tools and solu­tions for journ­al­ists, so it was an eclect­ic and stim­u­lat­ing crowd of journ­al­ists, geeks, hack­tav­ists and design­ers.   So well done and thank you to the organ­isers.

Here’s the video:

Global Investigative Journalism Conference, Kiev

Off to do a key­note at the Glob­al Invest­ig­at­ive Journ­al­ism Con­fer­ence in Kiev.   Should be inter­est­ing — watch this space.

GIJC_logo

Spies and the Media — my recent talk at the Centre for Investigative Journalism

Here’s the film of my talk at the recent sum­mer school at the Centre for Invest­ig­at­ive Journ­al­ism in Lon­don a month ago:

 

Many thanks to Gav­in and the rest of the CIJ team for such a stim­u­lat­ing and thought-pro­vok­ing week­end!

Keynote at Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer School, 16 July 2011

CIJ_logo_summerschool

My next talk in the UK will be a key­note at the renowned CIJ sum­mer school on 16th July. One of the major themes this year is whis­tleblow­ing, for obvi­ous Wikileaks-related reas­ons, and it appears I shall be in good com­pany.

My talk is at 2pm on the Sat­urday.  I under­stand the key­notes are open to the pub­lic, not just sum­mer school attendees, so come along if you can and please spread the word!

How the Light Gets In festival — my talk

My recent talk at the excel­lent How the Light Gets In philo­sophy fest­iv­al at Hay-on-Wye.  With cred­it and thanks to IAI TV and the staff of the Insti­tute of Art and Ideas, the organ­isers the event.

 

How the Light Gets In — speaking in Hay-on-Wye, May 30 2011

How_the_light_gets_in_Banner I did two ses­sions at Hay-on-Wye philo­sophy and music fest­iv­al — How the Light gets In in May 2011.

The first was a debate called “An Age of Trans­par­ency” with neo-con­ser­vat­ive com­ment­at­or Douglas Mur­ray, and philo­soph­er Nigel War­bur­ton.

The second was my talk about “Spies, Lies, and Life on the Run”.

Here’s a link to a video of my talk.

How_the_light_gets_in_banner

Frontline Club/New Statesman (FCNS) whistleblower debate with Julian Assange

This house believes whis­tleblowers make the world a safer place.”

I was hon­oured to be asked to say a few words at the recent debate about the value of whis­tleblowers in Lon­don on 9th April 2011.

The Front­line Club and the left-wing New States­man magazine jointly hos­ted the event, which starred Juli­an Assange, edit­or in chief of Wikileaks.  Here is the debate in full:

 

 

Need­less to say, the oppos­i­tion had an uphill battle arguing not only against logic, the fair applic­a­tion of law, and the mean­ing of a vibrant and informed demo­cracy, but also against the new real­it­ies in the worlds of journ­al­ism and tech­no­logy. 

The first more dip­lo­mat­ic­ally-minded oppos­i­tion­ist adop­ted a policy of appease­ment towards the audi­ence, but the last two had to fall back on the stale and puerile tac­tics of name-call­ing and ad hom­inem attacks.  So good to see that expens­ive edu­ca­tions are nev­er a waste.…

The pro­pos­i­tion was sup­por­ted enthu­si­at­ic­ally by the sell-out crowd, a resound­ing vote of con­fid­ence in the demo­crat­ic notions of account­ab­il­ity and trans­par­ency.

Here’s a snip­pet of my (brief) con­tri­bu­tion to a fant­ast­ic after­noon:

 

Cambridge Union Society Talk on PSTV, January 2011

Paradigm Shift TV (Sky 201 and 203)  pro­duced this film of my talk at the Cam­bridge Uni­on Soci­ety in Janu­ary 2011:


With thanks to Keith and Steve!

Durham Union Society Talk, 16 February 2011

DUS_logo It’s a busy couple of months for talks, and I have the pleas­ure of speak­ing at the Durham Uni­on Soci­ety tomor­row night (16th Feb­ru­ary).

My talk will be focus­ing on the mod­ern role of intel­li­gence agen­cies, the war on ter­ror, what it’s like to be recruited to work as a spook, whis­tleblow­ing, Wikileaks, police states and civil liber­ties.  An eclect­ic mix.

The talk is open to all stu­dents, not just mem­bers of the Uni­on, so if you’re in the area and have the time, do come along!

Cambridge Union Society, 28th January 2011

CUS_3Well I had a fab time revis­it­ing the old place last week to do a talk at the Uni­on Soci­ety — some­where I spent many happy hours, oh, aeons ago!

Many thanks to Rebecca and the rest of the team for organ­ising and host­ing the event, and to Silkie for set­ting the whole ball rolling.

It was a busy week­end.  The Fri­day even­ing began with an all-too-brief appear­ance at the first meet­ing of a new group, MI7 — can I say that, or is it a state secret? — organ­ised by Silkie and Charlie Veitch of the Love Police

CUS_1It was strange to go back to the Uni­on as a speak­er after so long and so many unusu­al exper­i­ences.  The audi­ence seemed to stay wide awake for my hour-long talk, and the ques­tions after­wards were inter­est­ing, lively and var­ied.  I was also encour­aged to see that ideas deemed to be “rad­ic­al” only a few years ago are now going main­stream.

The next day was taken up with inter­views for The Cam­bridge Stu­dent and Varsity stu­dent news­pa­pers, Sky 203 Chan­nel,  and a photo shoot with QH Pho­to­graphy for a gal­lery exhib­i­tion in Lon­don later this year.

The Cam­bridge Stu­dent journ­al­ists gamely allowed the inter­view to be film by Sky 203 — not the easi­est of scen­ari­os.

Varsity” news­pa­per did a col­our­ful and intel­li­gent inter­view — thanks Olivia! — which was rap­idly fol­lowed on the news­pa­per web­site today with this puff piece about MI6

I can only assume that this is merely bal­anced news report­ing, espe­cially as the Mas­ter of Pem­broke Col­lege, Chair of the Trust­ee Board of the Uni­on Soci­ety, and former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dear­love, will be speak­ing at the Uni­on in a couple of weeks.…. 

Cambridge_1Cer­tainly an inter­est­ing jux­ta­pos­i­tion!

The photo shoot was fun, and the res­ults will be appear­ing in Lon­don at the end of this year.  As you can see from the photo on the left, Huy takes a mean pic­ture.

I also ran into Ryan J‑W Smith, who is in the pro­cess of com­plet­ing his intriguing film, 2Plus2Makes4.  Lim­ited private and fest­iv­al screen­ings are expec­ted this sum­mer.

The film syn­op­sis asks some fun­da­ment­al ques­tions:

How close are we to slid­ing into Orwell’s total­it­ari­an night­mare, ‘1984’? Con­tro­ver­sial, shock­ing, power­ful and hon­est — star­ring Tony Benn, Gore Vid­al, former MI5, CIA, FBI agents, Sen­at­ors, Pres­id­en­tial Nom­in­ees, etc.  A ‘Must-See’ fea­ture doc­u­ment­ary from award-win­ning film­maker, Ryan J‑W Smith. Smith’s pre­vi­ous films have received 16 Inter­na­tion­al Film Fest­iv­al Selec­tions, 5 ‘Best Film’ Nom­in­a­tions, and 4 ‘Best Film’ wins.”