2023 Breaking News, Large Newsroom finalist

The Oslo Shooting: 13 Minutes of Horror

About the Project

A warm summer night in Oslo, June last year: People gathered at local bars to celebrate the Pride festival. But the celebration was shattered by bullets: At 01:05 am Zaniar Matapour opened fire against two bars in the city center.

Matapour is charged with murder, attempted murder and terror. It was a targeted attack on Pride and the gay community, police say.

But in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, several questions remained unanswered: When did the shooting start? When was the gunman overpowered, and how? And when did the police arrive?

VG asked ourselves whether we could use the methods learned from the Ukraine war coverage, like the OSINT fact checking method, in a creative way to give insight into the Oslo shooting. Our main objectives were to (1) give our readers an accurate insight into the minutes of horror, and (2) to give a timeline of events that could also shed light on police response.

In total 40 videos of the attack were gathered in Google Drive, showing different perspectives of the shooting. Google Drive is accessible and allows for many people to work together in real time. The videos were scrutinized and filtered out one by one – six videos were used in the final story. We used metadata (the program metadata2go) to fact check the videos and to collect data such as coordinates and time of recording. As we were able to determine the exact time of the first fired shot, we could manually count seconds to determine when civilians were fighting the gunman, providing first aid, and when police arrived. The sound editing program Logic was used to determine the time of the following shots as the videos had only captured the sound, not visuals of the shooting. We built two timelines using Google Sheets, one for internal oversight, the second to enable designer and developer to build the final presentation, importing directly to React.