IJ4EU Podcast
World Press Freedom Day Special Episode

World Press Freedom Day Special Episode

April 29, 2022

Due to the nature of their work exposing wrongdoing and holding power to account, investigative journalists are vulnerable to attack: smears, intimidation, legal perils and outright violence.

Such threats multiply in countries where media freedom is under assault. In war zones, the dangers increase exponentially.

Yet the work continues — despite bombs, death threats, harassment and countless other ways to silence independent media. And increasingly, investigative journalists working in difficult environments find it pays to collaborate across borders.

This may mean publishing in other countries or teaming up with colleagues elsewhere. In extreme cases, it may mean relocating entire newsrooms to safer havens.

In this special edition of the IJ4EU Podcast to mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2022, host Timothy Large speaks with journalists from Russia, Ukraine, Serbia and Romania, all of whom have fostered resilience through cross-border collaboration.

These are tales of adaptation, ingenuity and survival. 

The Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) programme is Europe’s leading support scheme for cross-border journalism. Led by the International Press Institute, it provides grants and other assistance to journalistic teams collaborating internationally on stories in the public interest. Visit the IJ4EU website for more.

Credits:

Host: Timothy Large, IJ4EU programme manager at the International Press Institute

Guests:

 Producer and editor: Timothy Large

Chinese mafia groups flex their muscles in Europe

Chinese mafia groups flex their muscles in Europe

March 24, 2022

Think organised crime in Italy, and chances are you think of the Cosa Nostra, Camorra or Ndrangheta. But the newest kids on the mafia block come from China — and they’re expanding their influence across Europe.

Host Timothy Large interviews Italian journalist Davide Del Monte, who leads a cross-border investigation into the criminal activities of the main Chinese criminal group in Europe. It’s a tale of violence, political connections and dirty business.

For more on this investigation supported by the Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) fund, see Chinese Underworld.

Investigating Frontex: Scandal, scrutiny and satire

Investigating Frontex: Scandal, scrutiny and satire

February 28, 2022

Frontex, the EU’s fastest-growing agency, is responsible for policing the EU’s external borders. In recent years, it has been hit by allegations of complicity in human rights abuses and revelations of secret meetings with arms lobbyists, which it then lied about.

Host Timothy Large takes you behind the scenes of two cross-border investigations from the 2020/21 Investigative Journalism for Europe programme that thrust Frontex into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

One is the Frontex Files, which showed the power of both freedom-of-information requests and late-night satire. The other is Frontex at Fault, which used open-source intelligence to prove the agency took part in illegal maritime “pushbacks”.

Together, the investigations forced an EU agency with the size of Moldova’s GDP to account for its actions before the European Parliament, the European Commission and others with an interest in safeguarding human rights at Europe’s borders.

Pandora Papers: Dodgy dealings in Slovenia and Croatia

Pandora Papers: Dodgy dealings in Slovenia and Croatia

February 18, 2022

Journalists from Oštro, a centre for investigative reporting in the Adriatic region, discuss the challenges of exposing white-collar crime in Slovenia and Croatia — two countries on the EU’s southeast flank where the space for independent media is shrinking.

Host Timothy Large from the International Press Institute speaks with leading journalists behind  A Small Haven for White-Collar Crime, an investigation supported by the IJ4EU fund for cross-border investigative journalism.

Drawing on documents from The Pandora Papers, the biggest leak of offshore financial data in history, the investigation exposes tax evasion, fraud and the hiding of assets in offshore jurisdictions.

The project also brought home the difficulties of conducting investigative work in Slovenia and Croatia, countries with much in common — including a deteriorating landscape for media freedom.

The Vapour Trail: Big Tobacco’s libertarian smokescreen

The Vapour Trail: Big Tobacco’s libertarian smokescreen

February 16, 2022

The latest episode of the IJ4EU Podcast takes a behind-the-scenes look at The Vapour Trail, a cross-border investigation into secret lobbying by the tobacco industry.

This cross-border collaboration between French daily Le Monde and Dutch reporters collective The Investigative Desk exposes a secret alliance between Big Tobacco and networks of U.S. oil tycoons to thwart regulations on e-cigarettes and promote laissez-faire policies in Europe.

Supported by the Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) fund, the investigation exposes the work of fake consumer groups funded by the tobacco industry to promote vaping under the guise of defending individual freedom.

Timothy Large of the International Press Institute sits down with investigative journalists Ties Keyzer and Stéphane Horel to discuss how US oil billionaires and Big Tobacco are dusting off an old battle tactic to bring libertarianism to the heart of Europe.

Shipping and climate: The making of ‘Black Trail’

Shipping and climate: The making of ‘Black Trail’

September 24, 2021

The IJ4EU fund has launched a podcast dedicated to cross-border investigative journalism.

Listen to the stories behind IJ4EU-funded investigations, from the journalists who worked on them: how they built cross-border teams to pursue their topics, carried out investigations, overcame obstacles and created impact. 

In our first episode, we look back at Black Trail, an agenda-setting investigation into the relationship between two truly cross border topics: shipping and climate change.

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