Pedro Coelho participa no Prague Media Point

Docente da NOVA FCSH e investigador do ICNOVA, Pedro Coelho irá apresentar em co-autoria uma comunicação no Prague Media Point – Conference for journalists, media professionals, and scholars (5-7 dezembro, 2019), que terá lugar na cidade de Praga, República Checa. O trabalho que irá ser apresentado intitula-se REBUILDING INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM – Collaborative journalism: sharing information, sharing risk.

Abstract: High-quality journalism remains unharmed by the effects of journalism crisis. It stands out in the myriad of voices that assaulted the media space, either false, guided by obscure interests, or incomplete, because they are distanced from journalistic investigation. Both emerging “in a world that often feels more angry and more partisan” (Newman et al, 2018: 31) contributed, decisively, for the confidence crisis that has struck the media system and journalism in particular. There are clear signs that is through quality journalism that trust is regained. (Newman, 2017: 9-10; Newman et al, 2017: 26; Newman et al2018: 31). This research details the role of collaborative journalism during this process of rebuilding journalism at its core assuring everlasting investment in its quality. This path starts with the analysis of the “Daphne Project”, the first project of the consortium “Forbidden Stories”, the international platform created by Laurent Richard aiming to keep alive the stories of journalists who have been killed, imprisoned or, for some reason, were unable to pursue their investigations.

While evaluating the consequences of pursuing the stories of the Maltese journalist murdered on 16 October 2017, we interview both her son, Mathew Caruana Galizia, and Laurent Richard, the founder of the Consortium, and Emilia Sercan a Romanian journalist. As Daphne, Emilia investigates by herself matters that implicate the government, and she received death threats in April 2019. We also remember the circumstances of the death of Anna Politkovskaya, another case with clear similarities to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s.

Journalistic consortiums and collaborative journalism have a decisive role in investigative journalism, which is by nature a lonely work requiring journalists’ “willingness to dig” (Anderson e Benjaminson, 1976: 4), investigative journalists as Politkovskaya, Galizia and Sercan personify the non-acceptance of both “the secrecy and refusal of the officials to give the information” (Randall, 1996, 2016: 128). Such journalism “holds the powerful to account” (Starkman, 2014: 9), exposing itself to the risk without any protective shield.

Not only collaborative journalism protects journalists, making possible such investigation as the Panama Papers, where 2,6 terabytes of information which were not yet filtered (Brinlee, 2016), mobilized 376 journalists from one hundred media partners belonging to 80 countries, but also cross-border collaboration allows “sharing the risk across a wide range of international players” (Sambrook, 2018:4).

The murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the 14th journalist killed in a total of 55 journalists murdered between 2017 and 2019, globalized the risk for investigative journalists. If the absolute exposure of the lonely investigative journalist turns him into a target in territories where freedom of expression is threatened, the murder of this Maltese journalist, followed by the murder of Slovakian Jan Kuciak, four months later, and the murder of Bulgarian Viktoria Marinova in October 2018, placed Europe, an unlikely set, on the risk map. As Bastian Obermayer, the journalist of the Süddeutsche Zeitung who received from an unidentified source the information that originated “Panama Papers”, states reacting to the deaths of his European colleagues: “This is a traumatic change in my life and how I see the world of journalism” (apud Coronel, 2018).

Without losing sight of the problems caused by international consortiums of journalists, this research highlights, above all, how these partnerships, anchored in “radical sharing” (Guevara, 2016), are contributing to enhance investigative journalism.

Keywords: Collaborative Journalism; Investigative Journalism; Sharing the Risk; Daphne Project; Forbidden Stories