OSINT Detective Days - Using AI and Digital Forensics Tools in Investigative Journalism

OSINT Detective Days - Using AI and Digital Forensics Tools in Investigative Journalism


Are you intrigued by the world of investigative journalism, digital forensics, or perhaps fascinated by the power of open-source intelligence (OSINT) in uncovering truths? If so, join us for an immersive two-day Master Class designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to become a proficient OSINT investigator.

Derek Bowler, the Head of Social Newsgathering at Eurovision News, will lead a comprehensive dive into OSINT, covering a wide array of topics, from verification and fact-checking to utilising artificial intelligence (AI) for enhanced investigations. Whether you're a seasoned journalist, digital forensics expert, educator, or researcher, this course is tailored to meet your needs and expand your investigative toolkit.

Over the course of two days, you'll engage in hands-on exercises, delve into real-world case studies, and interact with industry professionals to gain valuable insights and practical experience. From learning how to verify online information to mastering advanced scraping techniques, each session is carefully crafted to provide you with actionable skills that you can immediately apply in your investigations.

Who it's for

  • Broadcast news editors 
  • Broadcast news journalists 
  • Social media news editors 
  • Social media news journalists 
  • News content strategies 
  • Digital forensics experts 
  • Educators and researchers

Course Outline

Day 1

10:15 – 10:45: Arrival, meet & greet, coffee

10:45 – 11:00: Opening & agenda

11:00 – 12:30: Verification and Fact-Checking

  • Introduction to the importance of verification and fact-checking in OSINT investigations.
  • Techniques for verifying online information, including reverse image search, geolocation, and metadata analysis.
  • Hands-on exercises: Participants will practice verifying the authenticity of online content using various tools and methods.

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 – 15:00: OSINT Footprinting

  • Understanding the concept of OSINT footprinting and its significance in investigations.
  • Techniques for gathering information about individuals, organisations, and entities from publicly available sources.
  • Practical exercises: Participants will conduct OSINT footprinting exercises to gather information about specific targets.

15:00 – 15:15: Break

15:15 – 17:00: OSINT Techniques for Financial and Environmental Investigations

  • Overview of OSINT techniques relevant to financial investigations, including tracking financial transactions, identifying assets, and uncovering hidden wealth.
  • Case studies and examples of successful financial investigations using OSINT.
  • Hands-on practice: Participants will explore tools and methods for conducting financial and environmental OSINT investigations.

19:00: Informal networking meetup in Geneva (Attendance optional)

Day 2

9:00 – 10:30: Using AI in OSINT Investigations

  • Overview of how artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance OSINT investigations, including text analysis, image recognition, and predictive analytics.
  • Demonstrations of AI-powered OSINT tools and platforms through hands-on exercises 
  • Discussion on the ethical considerations and limitations of using AI in OSINT investigations.

10:30 – 10:45: Break

10:45 – 12:15: Finding Data and Content Scraping

  • Introduction to data scraping techniques for collecting information from websites, social media platforms, and other online sources.
  • Tools and best practices for ethical data scraping.
  • Practical session: Participants will learn how to scrape data from websites and social media platforms for investigative purposes.

12:15 – 13:15: Lunch Break

13:15 – 14:45: OSINT Best Practices, Toolkit, and Q&A

  • Overview of best practices for conducting effective and ethical OSINT investigations.
  • Introduction to various OSINT tools and resources available to investigators.
  • Q&A session: Participants can ask questions and seek clarification on any topics covered during the workshop.

14:45 – 15:00: Wrap-Up and Closing Remarks


After completing the full Master Class, you will be awarded an EBU Academy Certificate

Meet your faculty

Derek Bowler

Head of Social Newsgathering

Derek Bowler is the Head of Social Newsgathering at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), where he leads a global team of digital verification journalists and OSINT investigations specialists.

He has over 10 years of experience in discovering, verifying, and clearing eyewitness media for the EBU membership and other media organisations. Derek has produced documentaries, investigations, and projects using eyewitness media and visual forensics. He has also co-authored Eyewitness Textures: User-Generated Content and Journalism in the Twenty-First Century, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, and co-authored the EBU Eyewitness Principles and Guidelines.

He developed the Agile Newsroom event, a training model for visual verification skills, listed among the promising practices from Media and Information Literacy (MIL) training models in the Council of Europe’s Supporting Quality Journalism through Media and Information Literacy study.

Derek holds a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism and New Media from the University of Limerick, certifications in Terrorism and Counterterrorism from Georgetown University, and Intellectual Property Law and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.