FOUNDER, BELLINGCAT

Q&A WITH LOVIE JUDGE ELIOT HIGGINS

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Eliot Higgins is the founder of Bellingcat, a multi-award winning investigative collective focused on online open-source investigation. Launched in 2014, the new website intended to provide a place for readers to learn how to do their own open-source investigations, and to contribute their own investigative work to the website.

Learn more about Eliot and his ground-breaking work in our latest feature.

As well as being the founder of Bellingcat, Higgins is currently creative director of Bellingcat’s investigative arm, Stichting Bellingcat, and director of Bellingcat’s production company, Bellingcat Productions BV.

Bellingcat was launched with funding raised through Kickstarter, and quickly became known internationally thanks to the work of its community on the downing on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) on July 17th 2014, ultimately identifying the missile launcher that shot down MH17 as originating from Russia’s 53rd air defence brigade.

In 2021 Higgins published the Sunday Times best-seller, We Are Bellingcat, about the work of Bellingcat and the development of the field of online open-source investigation.

Most recently Higgins has been involved with the launch of Bellingcat Productions BV, which aim to build on the success of Bellingcat’s podcasts and documentaries about Bellingcat’s work to produce films, podcasts, and television series based on the work of Bellingcat.

For those who are unfamiliar, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work that you do?

I’m the founder of Bellingcat, and currently creative director and director of our production company, developing Bellingcat investigations into documentaries and scripted films and series.

What expertise are you bringing as a judge for The Lovie Awards?

The work of Bellingcat involves a broad range of different fields, from tech to legal accountability, so I hope to bring the experience in working in those fields, and understanding the fusion between different fields, to my work as a judge.

What are you most looking forward to about reviewing this year’s Lovie Awards entries?

I’m hoping to see some really innovative ideas that really make the most of what the internet can offer us as a society, and bring people together. I want to see what exciting new ideas people have come up with, and how they use those ideas to have real impact.

What piece of creative work on the Internet has recently inspired you, and why? (A campaign, experience, film, social series, etc.)

I’ve really enjoyed GPPi’s podcast, Nowhere to Hide, taking their extensive work on chemical weapons use in Syria and telling that story through the personal experience of people who were directly involved with chemical attacks, from journalists who witnessed attacks and gathered evidence to the medical staff who had to deal with the victims of the attacks and prepare others for similar attacks. It’s a really unique perspective on a story people think they probably know something about, but in reality only a fraction of the full story has been told.

What emerging trend or technology are you most excited about in your field of work?

The increasing availability of satellite imagery is helping a great deal with our work, and the launch of more commercial satellite offering the ability to task satellites to specific locations has been very useful.

 

The chance to get your work in front of Eliot is NOW! Enter before the Extended Entry Deadline on 5th August here.

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