SKUP – Investigative Journalism

The Norwegian Foundation for a Free and Investigative Press (SKUP, Stiftelsen for en Kritisk og Undersøkende Presse) held its yearly conference this week-end (29.03-31.03). SKUP is an association established in 1990, dedicated to promoting investigative journalism in Norway. SKUP organizes an annual weekend conference for investigative reporters and editors in Norway.

International participants from the master course Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace at OsloMet participated at this years conference. The participant are from Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Nepal, Zimbabwe and Uganda, and several of them are TV and radio reporters.

The SKUP-conference is held every year and invite both investigative press from Norway and abroad. The focus of the conference is on how to share work, methods and ideas on investigative journalism.




Vol. 18 / No. 1 of conflict & communication online

Vol. 18 / No. 1 of conflict & communication online has appeared and can be downloaded from the internet:

Foto: Heriberto Paredes “Stop the killing of Journalist” from a protest in Mexico City
The articles presented in this issue of Conflict & Communication Online, were selected from papers written for the annual Safety of Journalists conference organized by the Media, War and Conflict research group (MEKK) at OsloMetropolitan University. The guest editors are professor Kristin Skare Orgeret & professor Roy Krøvel, current coordinators of the MEKK-research group at OsloMet. 

The annual conference on the Safety of Journalists was set up to support research on the safety of journalists, in line with recommendations of UNESCO’s Research Agenda on the Safety of Journalists. Besides furthering new knowledge on safety issues, it also seeks ways to construct a network of researchers able to produce knowledge vital to improving safety of journalists internationally.

In our call for contributions to the 2017 conference, we wrote: An attack on a journalist is an attack on the freedom of expression. Silencing journalists happens through a variety of actions ranging from threats such as bullying and online harassment, restrictive policies and random detention, to the decisive act of censorship– death. Knowledge about journalists’ working conditions is important to improve the training of new journalists. We wanted to discuss both the processes leading to unsafe conditions and possible strategies and solutions andasked for papers with practical, theoretical, national or international perspectives that critically examine challenges related to the issue of safety of journalists.

The chapters of the special issue are written by the following authors:

1. Introduction: Introduction: Where are we now? – (Almost) a decade with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity by Ingrid Fadnes, Roy Krøvel & Kristin Skare Orgeret

2. Getting from the global to the local: Norms and systems for protecting journalists in the times of the sustainable development goals by Guy Berger

3. Afghan journalists in a balancing act: Coping with deteriorating safety by Elisabeth Eide, Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar & Hasina Shirzad

4. Safety culture changing visual representations of wars? The case of Afghanistan by Saumava Mitra

5. Fixers in corporate media: Pashtun journalists under threat in North Western Pakistan by Altaf Khan

6. Digital security awareness and practices of journalists in Turkey: A descriptive study by Behlül Çalışkan

7. When online commentary turns into violence: The role of Twitter in slander against journalists in Colombia by Marta Milena Barrios, Lina María Vega-Estarita & Luis M. Gil

Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace

The Master course Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace started out on Monday 25th. The course is a part of the Master in Journalism at the OsloMet. During this week and the second week of April there will be daily lectures at the OsloMet. This year students from 11 countries have signed up for the course.

Participants from Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Uganda, Marocco, Indonesia & Russia.

The course aims at developing advanced competence when it comes to critical research traditions related to post-colonial studies, for example Orientalism and Occidentalism critique, theories of nation and identities, migrancy and transnationalism. Students will also acquire competence in analyzing the links between globalization processes and ethnical dimensions within and between nations and regions. The role of safety for journalists covering war and conflicts is central to the course.


Professor Rune Ottosen lecturing on War and Peace journalism

To tell the truth, but not all of it

Monday 18th of March the 3rd Making Transparency Possible conference – Interdisciplinary dialogues was held at the OsloMet. The conference gather academics, investigative journalists, Tax Directors and others to a dialog of how to make transparency possible.

Anya Schiffrin on “Investigative journalism in the extractive industries
To tell the truth, and nothing but the truth – but not the whole truth, Joseph Stiglitz

The main focus for this year’s conference was:

“Financial Secrecy and the impact of investigative journalism and cross-border collaboration on the public understanding of illicit financial flows.”

One of the key speakers, Joseph Stiglitz from University Professor at Columbia University and winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, said in his key note named Secrecy, Transparency and Globalization that transparency is avoided because companies can get away with telling only one part of the truth: «To tell the truth and nothing but the truth, but not the whole truth». Tax evasion depends upon secrecy, but according to Stiglitz, solving the problem is as easy as making it. Tax havens is a construction and can be deconstructed.


What is the impact of investigative journalism on the public undestanding of illicit financial flows? Introduction and moderation by MEKK-member Kristin Orgeret. Daniela Quirós Lépiz, Burkina Faso/Costa Rica, Mwanyengwa Ndapewoshali Shapwanale, Angola/Namibia and Craig McKune, South Africa.


“What needs to be done to make transparency possible?” Introduction and moderation by Mona Thowsen. Trond Eirik Schea, Director of the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim), Hans-Christian Holte, Tax Director at the Directorate of Taxes (Skattedirektoratet), Idar Kreutzer, Director of Finance Norway (Finans Norge) and Jon Lomøy, Director at the Norwegian Organisation for International Development (Norad).


Frian Aarsnes, “What needs to be done to make transparency possible? Forensic auditing and investigative journalism”.


Book launch: Making Transparency Possible: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue

Making Transparency Possible: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue

The anthology Making Transparancy Possible: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue is now possible to download:

This book will be of interest to anyone concerned about illicit financial flows, but especially to journalists, journalism students and journalism instructors seeking an understanding of what it takes to reveal the mechanisms behind illicit, global flows of wealth.

Volume editor:
Roy Krøvel, Mona Thowsen
Chapter authors:
Frian Aarsnes, Mahima Achuthan, Kristine Aghalaryan, William Bourdon, Behlül Çalışkan, Lina Chawaf, Antoine Deltour, Elisabeth Eide, Ingrid Fadnes, Raphaël Halet, Birgitte Kjos Fonn, Johannes Kr. Kristjansson, Amélie Lefebvre, Simona Levi, Craig McKune, Karl Ove Moene, Ryan Powell, Jenik Radon, Nandini Ravichandran, Anya Schiffrin, Tina Søreide, Petter Slaatrem Titland, Rodrigo Véliz Estrada


Each year local and national economies throughout the world lose billions of dollars through so-called illicit financial flows. Conservative estimates indicate that over a billion dollars are diverted illegitimately out of countries in the Southern Hemisphere every year. This diversion of revenue reinforces poverty while facilitating the concentration of authority in the hands a select few through corruption and abuse of power. The authors’ objective with this book is to increase transparency in finance and global financial transactions.

Understanding the phenomenon of illicit financial flows requires input from several disciplines including law, finance and economics, and much of what is known about illicit financial flows is thanks to whistleblowers and investigative journalists. This anthology highlights journalism about illicit, global financial activity from an interdisciplinary perspective. In conveying the experiences of whistleblowers and investigative journalists who have been involved with the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, Lux Leaks and Swiss Leaks, the contributing authors underscore the need for journalism students to also learn the basics of economics, finance and law if they are to be able to carry out investigative projects in an increasingly more globalized economy.

In the first part of the book, investigative journalists describe their work to expose corruption and capital flight, and whistleblowers in some of the most significant cases tell their stories, while lawyers and accountants explain what needs to be done at the legislative level. In the second half of the book, analyses of revelations of corruption and illegitimate financial flows are presented. The authors explore themes including the value of investigative journalism, new journalistic methods, inadequate protections for whistleblowers and the education of investigative journalists.

This book will be of interest to anyone concerned about illicit financial flows, but especially to journalists, journalism students and journalism instructors seeking an understanding of what it takes to reveal the mechanisms behind illicit, global flows of wealth.


“Financial Secrecy and the impact of investigative journalism and cross-border collaboration on the public understanding of illicit financial flows.” – the focus of his year´s conference

A team of economists, financial analysts, professors in economics, journalism and communications and international investigative journalists will gather for the 3rd research conference in the series “Making Transparency Possible – Interdisciplinary dialogues”.

Speakers at the conference include:

  • Anya Schiffrin, Director of Technology, Media and Communication specialization of Columbia University´s School of International and Public Affairs
  • Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia University and winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics
  • Kalle Moene, Professor of Economics at University of Oslo
  • Richard Sambrook, Professor of Journalism and Director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University and former Director of Global News at BBC
  • Frian Aarsnes, State authorized public accountant and expert in extractive industry taxation and fiscal design.

The program starts 18th March, 2019 at Oslo Metropolitan University, Auditorium “Athene”, Pilestredet 46, Oslo.

Journalism and antisemitism during and after the Second World War

Bjørn Westlie and Rune Ottosen

Monday 12th of March the MEKK research group held a seminar on journalism and antisemitism during and after the second world war based on the work of Bjørn Westlie and Rune Ottosen. Anne Hege Simonsen was supposed to participate but fell ill and could not participate. Her recent book on Marie Hamsun is highly recommended.

Both Westlie and Ottosen presented work in progress. Westlie with a focus on Norsk Artikkel Tjeneste, NAT (“Norwegian article service”), the press agency of the political party Nasjonal Samling (National Union), the only allowed political party during the German occupation of Norway during the Second World War. NAT produced at least 2000 articles that were published in the Norwegian press as propaganda for the Nazi-regime and with strong anti-Semitic arguments.

Ottosen presented ongoing work on how the Norwegian and Swedish press reported the Holocaust. His article is named «A Genocide foretold?». According to Ottosen, the deportation of 532 Jewish on the 26th of November 1942 from Oslo with the ship Donau was only covered by the Swedish press. The journalist who told the story was later expelled from Norway.

Both work raise several questions about the role of the media during the Second World War and to what extent the press were influences by the Nazi propaganda.


This picture of the ship Donau was taken with a hidden camera by the Georg W. Fossum. The article and picture is from Aftenposten:

Bokbad: Journalistikk og antisemittisme før og under andre verdskrig

Forskargruppa Media, krig og konflikt inviterer til bokbad om journalistikk og antisemittisme før og under andre verdskrig. Programmet er basert på nye fagbøker og artiklar av Anne Hege Simonsen, Bjørn Westlie og Rune Ottosen.
Arrangementet er ope for alle.

Anne Hege Simonsen er forfattar av den kritikarroste biografien «Kjærlighet og mørke» om Marie Hamsun. På seminaret vil Simonsen spesielt ta utgangspunkt i Maries Hamsuns artiklar i Nationen og Fritt Folk i 1936.

Bjørn Westlie har mellom anna skrive «Fangene som forsvant. NSB og slavearbeiderne på Nordlandsbanen» (2015) og «Hitlers norske budbringere» (2013). Westlie arbeider med nytt stoff om norske journalistar og antisemittisme under andre verdskrig.

Rune Ottosen tar utgangspunkt i arbeidet med kjelder til ein ny artikkel: ‘Et varslet folkemord? Dekning av Holocaust i norsk og svensk presse’.

Det blir enkel servering (kaffi, frukt). Hugs å melde deg på (bruk lenkja nedenfor)!

Link til arrangement & påmelding:

International Women’s Day

The MEKK group salute all women and especially female journalists and researchers today. The 8th of March is the International Women’s Day and MEKK-member Kristin Skare Orgeret celebrates the day together with the freelance journalist Marte Vike Arnesen, with the launch of a #metoo poster.

We have made the #metoo poster so that we will not forget what #metoo is about, Kristin Skare Orgeret, Professor OsloMet & Marte Vike Arnesen, Freelance journalist

# Metoo is about power and gender. The person with power has the main responsibility for setting limits.

We wish everyone a good day and let’s continue the good work on equal rights, opportunities and working conditions for everyone!

Link to the article in Journalisten and the poster Metoo_plakaten–en-sjekkliste/353441

MEKK Inspirational seminar

Monday 4th of March the MEKK group invited five presenters to an inspirational seminar. The idea is to share both academic research and journalistic work and together discuss project possibilities, journalistic experiences, conflict and freedom expression and on what platforms we can use to share research like film, radio and exhibitions.

The MEKK group inspirational seminar

Samson Tewolde, journalist from Eritrea, shared strong and personal experiences on the consequences of touching the limits for freedom of speech in his home country. Samson is currently living in Fredrikstad, Norway and work as a freelance journalist. Several private media was established in Eritrea between 1999-2000, but from 2001 there has been a crackdown on private media and investigative journalism.

Samson Tewolde, journalist from Eritrea

Trond Idås, adviser from The Norwegian Union of Journalists, presented findings from a survey in 2017 about sexual harassment among Norwegian journalists. Idås underlined that this is the first survey ever on this subject among journalist in Norway, and the findings reveals a huge problem. One of the mayor challenges is that people who experience harassment do not go forward with it.

Trond Idås presenting findings from a survey on sexual harrassement among journalists

Mubashar Hasan from Bangladesh is currently in Norway as a guest-researcher. He studies Religion and Politics, Sports and Politics, Music and Politics, Democracy and Bangladesh. Hasan has paid a painful price for asking dangerous questions in Bangladesh. He shared his personal story of how he was disappeared in Bangladesh for 44 days.

Mubashar Hasan sharing stories on academic freedom in Bangladesh

MEKK-member Ingrid Fadnes presented two works on feminism from different perspectives. One of them is a radio-documentary called «In the footsteps of Elsa Laula – 100 years of sami struggle», a documentary in four episodes based on interviews with 23 sami women. And the magazine «feminism in Latin-America», a dialog between feminist from different geographies. The intention behind both works is to create a broader dialog between feminists, including decolonization, class, race and the multiple experiences of resistance.

MEKK-member Ingrid Fadnes claiming that if we want utopies in a world of dystopies we need to look to the feminist movements

MEKK-member, Anna M. Grøndahl Larsen defended her thesis: Reporting extremism and the threat of terrorism in the digital age: News journalism and the boundaries of inclusion and representation, in November last year. She was supposed to share some of her work at the seminar, but were not able to make it.

To end a very good and inspiring seminar we gathered for a nice dinner at professor Kristin Orgerets house.