Finding the truth: The Bellingcat method / Trouver la vérité : la méthode Bellingcat

Speaker: Aliaume Leroy, Open source Investigative Journalist at BBC Africa Eye and Bellingcat / Journaliste d’investigation open source à la BBC et Bellingcat

Leroy has presented the case study of Africa Eye, his investigation on a horrific crime committed by the Cameroonian army and proceeds to explain the digital tools journalists used to conduct the investigation from a distance to give an insight of how the « Bellingcat method » works.

Firstly, they fact-checked the video: they recognized the mountain line, the buildings, the shape of the road and established the position with satellite visions. With the buildings and the position of the sunlight (the angle was calculated on a computer) they could say pretty precisely when the video took place.

They also identified the weapons of the soldiers and the uniforms.  


The investigation lasted one month and it required help from several sides: « We worked with researchers from Amnesty International, Bellingcat members and open-source analysts« , explained Aliaume Leroy.

Its success « tells a lot about the power of open-source investigative journalism and the transparency of it« , he added.

One week after the video came out, the Ministery of Communication was still saying they did not see the video. This  open-source evidence could previously not be used in court, for example, but last year for the first time it was – a testament to how far these tools can take a journalist who masters them.

Crédits photo: Ulysse Bellier




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