Call for papers: 3rd Making Transparency Possible - Interdisciplinary dialogues 2019

Research Conference March 18th2019

Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

“There is a growing global consensus that the secrecy-havens—jurisdictions which undermine global standards for corporate and financial transparency—pose a global problem: they facilitate both money laundering and tax avoidance and evasion, contributing to crime and unacceptably high levels of global wealth inequality.” (Joseph E. Stiglitz and Mark Pieth) 

“International accountability is an issue for lawyers, economists, politicians and lobbyists, scientists, health care professionals, academics, accountancy, business and finance professionals, and more. In a modern approach to accountability journalism, newsrooms should seek to partner and collaborate outside their profession as widely as possible, being open to the expertise of others.” (Richard Sambrook).

“The journalists of the past used some of the same techniques as the journalists of today: they went undercover, they looked for witnesses, they interviewed survivors and they tried hard to verify what they had heard second-hand. The people who opposed their reporting also used tactics we know today; hiring lobbyists, lawyers and public relations people, applying soft pressure and sometimes resorting to violence.” (Anya Schiffrin) 

Over the last few years, cases such as the so-called Panama-papers, the Lux Leaks, the Swiss Leaks etc., have made it clear that public and governmental understanding of financial markets is hampered by secrecy mechanisms and facilitators of illicit financial flows. As a result, cross border investigative journalism has become vital for creating increased public understanding of financial markets. The third research conference in the series “Making Transparency Possible - Interdisciplinary dialogues” will focus on Financial Secrecy and the impact of investigative journalism and cross-border collaboration on the public understanding of illicit financial flows.

The organizers particularly welcome original, high-quality papers for presentation that can deepen our understanding of the following questions:

  • How to understand the emergence of new models of collaborations in investigative journalism?
  • Why governments are not more committed to transparency in the face of a notoriously opaque financial system and those who are making profits from the current non-transparent financial system? 
  • Who are able to reveal mechanisms for financial secrecy and develop possible policy responses?
  • What are the narratives journalists use to communicate complex information illicit financial flows and its enablers?
  • How can journalists acquire the necessary knowledge and competences to:
    • Communicate complex information related to illicit financial flows and its enablers 
    • Understand and analyse the power asymmetries between enablers of illicit financial flows and public institutions
    • Maintain over time a critical coverage of policy responses to curb of illicit financial flows


Confirmed speakers:

  • Anya Schiffrin, Director of the Technology, Media, and Communications (TMaC) specialization at Columbia University, USA. Schiffrin is a former business journalist and senior finance writer.   
  • Joseph Stiglitz, Former Senior Vice President of the World Bank and member and chair of the US president’s Council of Economic Advisers, USA. Stiglitz is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, 2001. 
  • Richard Sambrook, Professor of Journalism and Director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University. Previously, Sambrook was Director of Global News at the BBC where he worked as a journalist for 30 years as a producer, editor and manager. 
  • Professor Kalle Moene, University of Oslo, Norway. Moene is head of ESOP - Centre for the Study of Equality, Social Organization and Performance at University of Oslo, which is funded by The Research Council of Norway as part of the Centres of Excellence.
  • Frian Aarsnes, Chair of the Board at Publish What You Pay Norway. He is a State Authorized Public Accountant who has worked 7 years in a “big 3” auditing firm, 10 years in a global extractive company and 11 years in global consulting on the extractive area. Currently working at ECON Consulting Group. 
  • Jóhannes Kr. Kristjánsson, Owner of Reykjavik Media and co-founder of the Icelandic Center for Investigative Journalism, Iceland. Kristjánsson is one of Iceland’s most profiled investigating journalists and he is known for the interview he did after the Panama Papers that led to the Prime Minister withdrawing.
  • Craig McKune, amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, South Africa. One of the journalists behind the exposure of the Gupta Scandal, which partly led to President Jacob Zuma resignation.
  • Joshua Olutosin Olufemi, Head of knowledge and innovation at Premium Times and Program Director at Premium Times Center for Investigating Journalism, Nigeria. He has done data-driven investigating and reporting of failure of regulatory agencies, corruption and human rights abuses.
  • Daniela Quiróz-Lépiz,Data Journalist, Costa Rica. Currently working in Burkina Faso as Coordinator for the Center Norbert Zongo for Investigating Reporting in West Africa promoting and supporting cross border data investigation, transparency and open data in the region.
  • Mwanyanga Ndapewoshali Shapwanale, Investigative journalist in Namibia who started her investigative journalism career with the daily The Namibian newspaper and from January 2019 will be with the weekly The Patriot. She is also an amaBhungane fellow at the Centre for Investigative Journalism based in South Africa.
  • Jan Lukas Strozyk, Journalist at Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR), Germany. Strozyk is an investigative journalist with the German media outlet NRD and focuses on financial and economic topics.
  • Rune Ytreberg, Journalist at Dagens Næringsliv, Norway. Winner of the «SKUP» prize for a documentary made for the Norwegian investigative TV-show Brennpunkt in 2005.

In addition to the keynote speakers and invited panels, a limited number of no more than 12 papers will be accepted for presentation in parallel sessions on Monday March 18 2019. Abstracts of up to 500 words can be submitted until 14 January 2018 via email to the conference organizers. If you wish to present you paper, please submit it to: (Please include short bio including institutional affiliation and title.) 

Letters of acceptance will be sent out to presenters before February 1st2019. 

The conference fee is 800 Norwegian kroner covering lunch and dinner. Presenters are expected to cover all costs related to participation, including flights and hotel. If your paper is accepted, we will notify you on how to proceed.