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Unsafe for Scrutiny

The role that journalists play as a public watchdog uncovering information and holding power to account has increasingly been under threat, not only in authoritarian regimes but in democratic societies. Alongside the traditional forms of verbal or written harassment and physical attack, more sophisticated digital threats including surveillance, trolling and targeted smear campaigns have emerged as well as vexatious legal threats, often referred to as strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPPs). Taken together with a marked rise in hostile attitudes expressed by some politicians, who often utilise a ‘fake news’ and misinformation agenda, and attempts to restrict access to information, an environment has emerged in which journalists working to provide public scrutiny have become increasingly unsafe. [Image under (CC)]

Articles relating to this programme
Events in this programme

Unsafe for scrutiny – International Anti-Corruption Day event

Unsafe for scrutiny: How the misuse of the UK’s financial and legal systems to facilitate corruption undermines the freedom and safety of investigative journalists around the world.   This webinar, held on International Anti-Corruption Day, will launch the Foreign Policy Centre’s latest publication in the Unsafe for Scrutiny series, which will examine the impact that the UK’s continued role as a key facilitator of global financial crime and corruption has ...

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Speakers

Clare Rewcastle Brown, UK journalist at The Sarawak Report

Pavla Holcová, Czech journalist, Founder of Investigace.cz and Editor for Central Europe at OCCRP

Ben Cowdock, Investigations Lead at Transparency International UK

Susan Coughtrie, Project Director at the Foreign Policy Centre

Chair: Nigel Mills MP, Co-Chair of the APPG on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

When
December 9, 2020
5:00pm-6:30pm
Where

The event will take place on Zoom.

Unsafe for Scrutiny: Examining the pressures faced by journalists uncovering financial crime and corruption on the UK’s watch

Investigative journalists from across the world have repeatedly exposed how financial and legal systems – including those in the UK and its overseas jurisdictions – have been abused to facilitate corruption by their ruling elites, opaque businesses and criminal enterprises. They have often done this in the face of significant challenges to their own safety and security. This event, held as part of the Foreign Policy Centre’s ‘Unsafe for Scrutiny’ ...

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Speakers

Paul Radu, investigative journalist and co-founder of OCCRP

Oliver Bullough, UK journalist and author of Moneyland

Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia, ARTICLE 19

Susan Coughtrie, Project Director at the Foreign Policy Centre

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

When
November 2, 2020
4pm-5:30pm
Where

The event will take place on Zoom.

Investigating Corruption: US versus UK – A Widening Transatlantic Divide?

Barely into the start of 2021 and events around the world have brought the question of global corruption and the fight against it sharply into focus. Noticeable is the increasing divergence between governing authorities in the US and UK’s approach towards tackling anti-corruption and money laundering. The new Biden administration has clearly identified corruption as ‘a core national security interest’ and recent ‘historic’ legislation passed through US Congress takes aim ...

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Speakers

Tom Burgis, investigative journalist at The Financial Times and author of ‘Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Is Conquering the World’

Casey Michel, US investigative journalist and author of upcoming book ‘American Kleptocracy’

Dr Tena Prelec, Research Fellow with the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford

Dr Sue Hawley, Executive Director of Spotlight on Corruption

Chair: Susan Coughtrie, Project Director at the Foreign Policy Centre

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

When
April 20, 2021
5:00pm-6:30pm (UK Time)
Where

The event will take place on Zoom.

Suppressing Stories: How legal threats and challenges impact investigative journalism

Legal threats against journalists are far from a new phenomenon. Yet in recent years there has been a rising level of concern about the misuse of legal action to inhibit journalism, particularly by those wishing to prevent exposure of their wrong-doing as opposed to address a genuine grievance. Often described as strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPPs), the aim of such action is to intimidate journalists into not publishing information ...

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Speakers

Gill Phillips, Director of Editorial Legal Services, Guardian News & Media

Franz Wild, Editor and Reporter at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Jessica Ní Mhainín, Policy & Campaigns Manager, Index on Censorship

Susan Coughtrie, Project Director, Foreign Policy Centre

Chair: Chris Matheson MP, Shadow Minister for Media

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

When
May 4, 2021
4:00pm-5:30pm (BST)
Where

The event will take place on Zoom.

Don’t SLAPP the messenger

Don’t SLAPP the messenger: Why abusive legal threats and actions against journalists must be stopped Journalists are public watchdogs: by bringing information that is in the public interest to light, they help to hold power to account. But what if powerful or wealthy people wanted to keep their wrongdoings a secret? Abusive legal threats and actions, known as strategic lawsuits against public participation – or SLAPPs, are increasingly being used ...

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Speakers

Annelie Östlund, financial journalist

Herman Grech, Editor in Chief of Times of Malta

Justin Borg Barthet, Senior Lecturer at University of Aberdeen

Chair: Bill Browder, Head of Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign

Please RSVP for the event here.

When
June 22, 2021
4:30pm-5:30pm (BST)
Where

The event will take place on Zoom.

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