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Making Transparency Possible - Interdisciplinary dialogues

Alternative title: Korleis kan transparens gjerast mogeleg? Tverrfagleg dialog.

Awarded: NOK 2.4 mill.

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Project Period:

2018 - 2022

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Popular science presentation - Norwegian This project has helped to create insight and a better understanding of how the financial market works. It is necessary to create a public debate on legal and ethical issues in the financial market based on open access to information. In recent years, investigative journalists have participated in revelations related to "Panama papers", "Swiss Leaks" and "Lux Leaks" which show how public debate about financial flows can be prevented through widespread use of secrecy. But collaboration on investigative journalism across borders has helped to create awareness about illegal financial flows and tax havens. To create deeper insight and understanding, the public depends on journalists having the knowledge and ability to collect, evaluate and present complex information in a reliable way. The project examines how we can contribute to strengthening the quality of such investigative journalism. We have tried to achieve this by establishing an interdisciplinary dialogue between investigative journalists and professional experts in areas such as economics, finance, auditing, law, media and journalism. The project started in January 2018. The project has for a quarter of a year arranged the conference making Transparency Possible with participants from both journalism, finance, law and public bodies. The other main activity was the production of an anthology at CappelenDam. It was launched in 2019. The anthology contains 19 original articles based on the work in the project. At the conference in March 2019, Anya Schiffrin (Columbia University) and Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University) gave keynotes on journalism, information asymmetry and finance. Work in 2020 and 2021 was disrupted by the covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, we managed to conduct digital conferences in both 2020 and 2021. The material from the conferences formed the basis for two new digital learning materials (massive Open Online Courses) - Making Transparency Possible and Follow the Money published through the Bokskapet for digital learning materials at OsloMet.

Verknadar: Auka tverrfagleg samarbeid om illicit financial flows. Auka samarbeid mellom journalistikk og fagfolk frå økonomi og jus. Etablert forum for diskusjon mellom journalistar på området og offentlege instansar. Gryande samarbeid mellom journalistikk og investorar. Effekt: Betre kvalitet på utdanning av økonomijournalistar Utvikling av metodar for journalistisk gransking av finansfeltet

This project seeks to contribute to improving the quality of cross border journalism on global financial markets related to illicit financial flows and tax havens in order to facilitate public debate and make public understanding of financial markets possible. The project will do this by analyzing journalism on the landmark cases Panama papers, Lux leaks and Swiss Leaks. First, we wish to understand better legal and ethical issues investigative journalists face when working on illicit financial flows and tax havens. Second, we seek to understand better how journalists interpret and communicate complex financial data. Thirdly, we seek to explore the emerging praxis of digital crossborder cooperation between journalists as part of such investigations. The project takes an inductive bottom-up approach employing qualitative methodologies such as interviews, focus groups and interdisciplinary workshops/dialogue. We begin with interviewing investigative journalists to understand better the real problems and challenges journalists faced when researching illicit financial flows and tax havens. These issues will form the basis for the interdisciplinary dialogue where we will make use of experts on international law, finance and economy to discuss (with investigative journalists) the research problems defined above. The research team is recruited from Law, economy and journalism studies, in addition to NGOs working in the field of illicit financial flows and tax havens.

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