Transnational investigative journalism #ijf15

(photo by Maria Strumendo)

For the third time IRPI, Investigative Reporting Project Italy, will participate in the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. The first investigative journalism center in Italy, set up in 2012, will present at IJF three large transnational investigations and new ways of doing this kind of journalism, from daily stories of Italian organized crime and its international ramifications, to the collaboration with whistleblowers thanks to software that protects the identity of sources. In total IRPI will be involved in five festival sessions.

Where, how and when

On Friday 17 April from 11.00 to 12.00 at the Palazzo Sorbello, Leo Sisti, IRPI executive director and Italian member of The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, will participate at the panel From Luxleaks to Swissleaks: transnational investigative journalism. With the investigative journalist Mar Cabra, Sisti will discuss two global investigations coordinated by ICIJ, which call to account global politics and finance, thanks to a team of at least 250 journalists from over 80 countries.

At the Centro Servizi G. Alessi, on Friday 17 April from 17.30 to 19.00, the panel Italian Mafias: into Africa, will be held and the results of a seven-month investigations will be presented. Funded by the Innovation for Development Reporting Fund and Journalism Fund, the report investigates the infiltration of the Italian Mafias in the African economy, as protagonists of a rise to power of entire states with the help of the local elite. An investigation, co-signed by the Italian investigative journalism center IRPI and the African ANCIR, in association with the German center Correct!v, which used the techniques of the NGO for the whole datajournalism part. The investigation revealed how Cosa Nostra, ‘Ndrangheta and Camorra seized the African Global South, enriched themselves by recycling and reinvestment of their profits in diamonds, gold and drugs. It is a shocking portrait which involves elites in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Senegal and Kenya.

On Saturday 18 April, at the Centro Servizi G. Alessi from 10.30 to 12.00, IRPI, in association with the Hermes Center, inventor of the Globaleaks technology, presents the panel Whistleblowing the world. On that occasion, tools will be provided to collect anonymous reports that three centers of investigative journalism, IRPI, ANCIR and OCCRP, have adopted. It was a new challenge that produced extraordinary results. IRPI is currently developing three whistleblowing projects which work on IRPILEAKS, EXPOLEAKS and finally MAFIALEAKS platforms acquired a few weeks ago by IRPI. A few days before the start of the Universal Exposition in Milan, it is particularly important that EXPOLEAKS continues to be supported by crowdfunding:

On Saturday 18 April, at the Sala del Dottorato from 16.00 to 18.00, Transnational Investigative Journalism will be discussed, with the presentation of three investigations, one of which was signed by IRPI. It is The Wolves of Europe, produced in association with Correct!v, which recounts the incredible story of an Italian broker, author of a colossal falsification of government bonds at the expense of multinational companies; The Russian Laundromat by OCCRP-RISE-Novaya Gazeta that reveals the background of the largest recycling operation in Europe in recent years, and Africa’s Missing Billions, produced by ANCIR, which reveals opaque financial transactions linked to the exploitation of African mines.

On Sunday 19 April, from 12.00 to 13.30, at the Centro Servizi G. Alessi, the panel Reporting Mafias Glocally will discuss three very different experiences, such as the Mafia Blog of the German Correct!v, Il Dispaccio of Reggio Calabria and Grandangolo of Agrigento. From day-to-day collaboration on the exchange of information and contacts, to the large transnational investigation where everyone plays a role in a glocal team which speaks several languages and dialects.

IRPI figures

Up to now IRPI has been working on 15 investigations. The most recent denounces the behavior of a rapist policeman who lured victims all over the world through the popular website Couchsurfing. The investigation was published simultaneously in 11 countries (in Italy in the magazine L’Espresso) and taken up by numerous international and Italian media.

In 2014 IRPI participated in six international events (Neztwerck Research – Hamburg; SEEMO Media in South East Europe – Skopje; Seminar on Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corrupton Measures in European Structural and Investment Funds of the European Commission in Naples; Data Harvest (European Journalism Fund for Journalism) – Brussels; International Journalism Festival – Perugia; Uncovering Asia – Manila); Power Reporting – The African Investigative Journalism Conference 2014, Johannesburg; Investigating and Reporting Corruption and Organized Crime in the Sahel in Saly, Senegal, organized by Unodc and Occrp.

Some IRPI journalists trained at the Journalists’ Association in Piemonte, Veneto and Lazio, for the University of Perugia and the Catholic University of Milan. IRPI permanently collaborates with the centers of investigative journalism OCCRP, Correct!v, ICIJ and ANCIR and with computer specialists from the Hermes Center for digital transparency and human rights.

In March 2015, IRPI received a grant from Open Society for a fundraising project dedicated to nonprofit investigative journalism.