Thursday, October 18th


Online Fact-Finding and the Future of Journalism

Journalism, law, and human rights advocacy in the 21st century are ever-more dependent on online fact-finding and analysis—each upended by fundamental changes in technology that have hastened the flow of information and misinformation. And yet the craft and practice of accessing, parsing, and analyzing legitimate facts and data online is still in its infancy and quickly evolving. The UK-based Bellingcat is a pioneer in this field. Bellingcat’s Christiaan Triebert joins the School of Journalism’s Edward Wasserman and the Human Rights Center’s Alexa Koenig and Félim McMahon to discuss the potential and perils that lie ahead for open source investigations. Bellingcat and the Human Rights Center’s Investigations Lab’s groundbreaking research into war crimes and covert government activities are exposing and documenting war crimes and human rights atrocities in ways never before possible and lighting the path for the new generation of journalists, lawyers, advocates, and investigators.

Dr. Edward Wasserman, Ph.D., Dean, School of Journalism, UC Berkeley.
Christiaan Triebert, Senior Investigator and Lead Trainer, Bellingcat.
Dr. Alexa Koenig, Ph.D., J.D, Executive Director of the Human Rights Center.

Félim McMahon, Director, Human Rights Investigations Lab, Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley School of Law.

Left to right: Edward Wasserman, Alexa Koenig, Félim McMahon, Christiaan Triebert

Edward Wasserman, Ph.D. is professor of journalism and dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.  Before coming to Berkeley in January 2013 he was for 10 years the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. He writes and speaks widely on matters related to media rights and wrongs, technological change, and media ownership and control. His academic specialties include plagiarism, source relations, confidentiality and conflict of interest.

Alexa Koenig, Ph.D., J.D, is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Center (winner of the 2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions) and a lecturer at UC Berkeley School of Law, where she teaches classes on human rights and international criminal law with a particular focus on the impact of emerging technologies on human rights practice. She co-founded the Human Rights Investigations Lab, which trains undergraduate and graduate students to use cutting-edge open source methods to support human rights advocacy and accountability.

Félim McMahon is the Technology and Human Rights Program Director at the Human Rights Center and Director of its Human Rights Investigations Lab. The lab trains more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students from across campus each year in ways to use social media and other open source content for human rights advocacy and legal accountability. McMahon was previously a print journalist in Ireland and then part of a small team that established Storyful, the world’s first social media news agency. In 2014, McMahon joined the International Criminal Court as an investigator, innovating around the mining and presentation of social media to strengthen prosecutions of grave international crimes, including war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

Christiaan Triebert is an award-winning journalist interested in conflict and development. Besides his research, Christiaan provides worldwide training in digital forensics on behalf of Bellingcat. He has conducted fieldwork in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine, among many other countries. He graduated from the War Studies Department at King’s College London, after obtaining two bachelors degrees in International Relations and Political Philosophy at the University of Groningen.

Recommended readhttps://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/world/europe/skripal-russia-alexander-mishkin.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur


Human Rights Center at the UC Berkeley School of Law, the Investigative Reporting Program, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism


Logan Multimedia Center (Room 142 North Gate Hall)

Get directions to Logan Multimedia Center (Room 142 North Gate Hall)


This is a FREE event.
Tax-deductible donations from the J-School community help make this possible.

Tickets required

RSVP: https://goo.gl/n9445E


Julie Hirano