Vance Center Joins Panels at International Journalism Festival

April 2024

Vance Center Executive Director Alexander Papachristou spoke on two panels and participated in safety clinics for journalists at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy.

Vance Center Executive Director Alexander Papachristou (center) speaks during a panel introducing safety clinics for journalists on the first day of the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy. Photo credit: Diego Figone/IJF

On April 18, Vance Center client the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) organized a panel, “How to Negotiate Hacked and Leaked Data,” examining the practical, ethical, and legal challenges of reporting on hacked and leaked datasets. The panel, moderated by ICIJ director Gerard Ryle, featured Juliette Garside, deputy business editor of The Guardian, journalist and technologist Micah Lee, and Papachristou. Papachristou likened investigating in the so-called dark web to eating in a school cafeteria serving indistinguishable and possibly dangerous fare, in comparison with more traditional investigative reporting practices of hunting for sources in offline spaces. He emphasized the legal risks that hacked data may contain inaccurate, illegal, or private information, and noted concerns that its use in reporting could encourage further theft. 

Earlier that day, Papachristou also joined an opening panel that Vance Center client A Culture of Safety (ACOS) Alliance held to introduce a series of safety clinics, at which freelancers, editors, and publishers received information on safety issues, including legal advice. During the discussion, moderated by ACOS Alliance Executive Director Elisabet Cantenys, Papachristou and other panelists outlined some of the issues for which journalists might seek advice and debated audience questions, including whether journalists should ever use tourist visas to enter a country that restricts media access. 

Papachristou attended other panels during the five-day event featuring speakers including Miranda Patrucic, editor-in-chief of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), and Yukari Kane, Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Prison Journalism Project, two significant Vance Center clients. While in Perugia, he also met with festival attendees from Humanity United, Luminate, and the Sigrid Rausing Trust, and Vance Center clients from Central America, Ukraine, Russia, and the Middle East, as well as the United States. 

See more photos from Perugia and the full program here.