1. Class Information

    Class Information

    Detailed information about what you can expect at the 2016 CIJ Investigative Journalism Summer Conference.



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  2. About the Conference

    Bookings are now OPEN

    #CIJSummer Conference
    22-24 June 2017
    Goldsmiths, University of London

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  3. Timetable 2016


    Plan your time at the Summer Conference. #CIJSummer

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  4. Teachers and Speakers

    Teachers and Speakers

    Some of the world's best speakers and trainers are coming to the CIJ Summer Conference. #CIJSummer

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  5. Directions


    How to get to the CIJ Investigative Journalism Conference venue at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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  6. Previous Summer Schools

    Previous Summer Schools

    See our archive of videos and reviews from our previous Summer Schools.

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Class Information

This page will be updated on regular basis.

This year you can book for individual days as well as for all three days. On Thursday 14 July and Friday 15 July we will focus on practical skills, while Saturday 16 July will feature keynote talks, networking and discussions. 

Please note that some classes form mini-courses and are best attended as a whole.

The sessions marked [Rec] will be recorded.

The Data Journalism Workshops take place in computer labs. These sessions are practical, hands-on classes designed to teach participants the essential software and data analysis techniques used by journalists in the newsroom.

Some hands-on classes will require delegates to bring their own laptops with some software preinstalled. It will be clearly stated in the class descriptions and in the timetable. 

Refreshments are served several times a day (but not all the time) throughout the course, with a speakers and delegates lunch and drinks party held on Saturday.

Keynotes/Networking Day Saturday 16 July 

Tickets are available for individual days, including Saturday keynote talks only. See the Book Now page for more information.

James B. SteeleA Documents State of Mind
Documents are a mainstay of the best investigative reporting around the world. This session by the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist will explore how to find and analise obscure reports and documents on persons, institutions, companies and programs – valuable information that is often otherwise unattainable. It will also explore the vital role of data in helping to analyze complex public issues and the ever-greater role data is playing in investigative journalism today.

Betsy ReedThe Drone Papers
Editor-in-chief of The Intercept Betsy Reed will talk about The Drone Papers project as well as new ways of doing investigative journalism.

Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier: #PanamaPapers
Süddeutsche Zeitung journalists will talk about the largest documents leak in history: how it came about and what difference it has made. 

Ana Naomi de Sousa and Christina VarviaMethods and Tools for Visual Investigations
The Forensic Architecture group at Goldsmiths University in London is revolutionising investigative analysis. They will give a ‘roadshow’ of new and unique tools and methods. Building on architectural knowledge of the 3D physical world, the group demonstrates how the newest technologies can be used to deconstruct lies and myths by creating simulations that prove a specific argument or fact is false. Researchers in forensics present a variety of research tools they are developing for unveiling truth in highly sensitive political situations.

New Business Models for Journalism: Building success by building community
Rob Wijnberg, Ernst-Jan Pfauth and Mark Lee Hunter
Launched in 2013, setting a world-record for crowdfunding in journalism, De Correspondent - a Dutch journalism platform that focuses on background, analysis, investigative reporting - is succeeding by redefining the news and the business model of a newspaper. Three examples: its 45.000 members pay for operations through subscriptions and one-off fees, and also contribute their expertise and insight to stories in the making. De Correspondent's coverage focuses not on exceptional events like terrorist attacks, but on long-term trends like climate change. Its journalists are actively involved in finding and engaging the right audience for their stories, as well as reporting. In this session, we will see how a revolt against the traditional way of committing quality journalism can be successful.  

Documentary: Miners Shot Down
Followed by a Q&A with Margaret Renn and Jim Nichol
In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa's biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress it, killing 34 and injuring many more. The police insisted that they shot in self-defense.


Networking Sessions

For the first time this year, we will be offering specific networking sessions. They will focus on three key areas: data journalism, Freedom of Information and journalistic start-ups.
These will be informal meetings, lead by our trainers and speakers. Come for a cuppa and meet likeminded people.
Formats will vary.
The Data Team is planning a 'Data Question Time', where you can ask questions/share your ideas with the data team and get advice and feedback. 
For those, not interested in the networking, we are planning to show a documentary film, followed by a Q&A.
All of this is a bit of an experiment, so we will value your feedback very much.

Computer Security Advice Clinic

Visit the security zone at the Atrium with your laptop. You will learn to set-up various tools to browse anonymously, chat and mail with encryption and prevent data-loss from theft/confiscation of laptops and storage media. This will include the TOR-browser, PGP mailcrypto, OTR-chat.

The software tools we will be using are all free of cost and will work on Windows, Mac and Linux laptops. They will not work on iPads or Android tablets. Please bring a laptop that you are able/allowed to install software on and contact us with any specific questions beforehand.

You are advised to download CIJ Logan InfoSec handbook (free).

Talks and Mini-Courses

Thursday 14 July - Friday 15 July

(In alphabetical order. Excluding Data Journalism. See below.)

Accessing information under FOIA - 1
Jenna Corderoy and Sid Ryan
This session will outline the basics of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and how you can apply it to your research, campaigns and investigations. We’ll go through all the kinds of information that can be accessed from government bodies, including datasets, and how you can draft effective requests to get the most out of the Act. We will also take a look at how to make requests for information under the lesser-known Environmental Information Regulations.

Accessing information under FOIA - 2
Jenna Corderoy and Sid Ryan
This session will go through the FOIA appeals process, and teach you how to argue your case when government bodies are doing whatever they can to prevent a disclosure. Towards the end of the session, we will look at how to send freedom of information requests around the world. To finish, we’ll discuss and work through some of the FOIA challenges that you have encountered.  

Computer Forensics for Journalists
Duncan Campbell
We leave a trail of digital evidence whenever we use a computer or mobile device and this isn't just limited to when we go online. This talk will help you understand what you leave behind, where it can be found and what you can do to protect yourself.

Coping with Big Datasets 
Jonathan Stoneman
Some open data available for download will land on your desktop as an array of data so vast it is difficult to know where to begin. Jonathan Stoneman will work through some examples and show some key strategies that work for big datasets, whatever the subject matter.

Covert Filming
Allan Harraden and Paul Samrai
This session on covert filming has evolved over the years into a state-of-the-art technical workshop looking at last-resort methods to acquire evidence for public interest investigations. It is taught by a leading undercover technician and an experienced television reporter who discuss the process and ethics of going undercover and look at the latest high-quality equipment.

Don't Be Numbed by Numbers
Jonathan Stoneman
If the mere thought of needing to work out an average brings you out in a sweat, this one's for you. Jonathan Stoneman takes a non-mathematician's look at some vital statistical concepts with the aim of giving you some commonsense ways of coping with a barrage of numbers and statistics.

The Ferret: Nosing Up The Trousers Of Power
Rachel Hamada and Peter Geoghegan
A group of freelance journalists based in Scotland realised that there was both need and demand for a new model of independent investigative journalism. The Ferret was born. Using collaboration, working with readers and publishing source documents, The Ferret is blazing a trail for public interest journalism with public input. Find out how The Ferret has evolved into a worker- and reader-owned cooperative, how it is exploring different methods of funding, including crowdfunding and subscriptions, learn from its successes and its challenges and discover what its goals are for the future.

Gathering Information from Social Media & Other Open Source Resources 
Neil Smith
Open Source Intelligence & Internet Investigations is more than just Google and gossip. Neil Smith is an experienced Open Source Intelligence Investigator and Trainer, in his presentation he aims to show some useful databases and techniques that he uses daily in his own enquiries and teaches on his courses. From free sites and techniques that will take your web site enquiries forward to maximise the amount of information you can locate about a subject; to opening up a Facebook account which looks to have its privacy setting set to the max; to databases both free and paid for, maximising what you know about a subject.

Hidden Cameras and Secret Filming; Infiltrations and Investigations 
Joe Plomin 
The undercover producer of the investigation which exposed the abuse of people at Winterbourne View private hospital and more recently the producer director of the film which exposed mistreatment at Medway Secure Training Centre, a prison for children some as young as 14 run by private security firm G4S provides an exclusive step by step guide to whether, how and why to use secret cameras.

How to Get the Most Out of Companies House [Rec]
Martin Tomkinson and Robert Miller
Any UK-based investigative journalist or aspiring journalist should have a working knowledge of Companies House.
Companies House is the central registry for all UK registered limited or PLC companies and contains a wealth of useful information for those who know how to use the site. The aim of this class is to show how to get the most information from the official website, as well as highlighting what information can’t be found there. The class will give ample time for questions and queries and is an absolute must for anybody who does not feel confident in using this vital tool for investigators.

Class handout: Companies House
Investigating Companies: A Do It Yourself Guide
Richard Whittell
In this session we will discuss how to look into a company and how to find and understand key pieces of information about it, using tips and lessons from Corporate Watch investigations and their Investigating Companies: A Do-It-Yourself handbook.
Libel and Privacy Laws
Justin Walford
Justin Walford will talk about libel and privacy and discuss how recent cases have affected the law. This class is for anyone who wants to update their legal knowledge and find out how they are affected by recent legal developments.
Offshore Finance 1&2 
John Christensen and Nick Mathiason
These sessions will provide an overview of offshore finance, illicit financial flows and tax cheating.  It will explore the loopholes in the global rules that permit these phenomena, and the politics of change in this area.

Bring own laptop.
If you don't have Open Refine, the session will still be useful - you can just watch. But if you want to follow along and start getting to grips with OpenRefine go to this page 
http://openrefine.org/download.html and choose the installation kit which fits your needs - Windows/Mac/Linux.

The Power of Personal Data: How to Access Information About You and Your Sources From Corporations and Governments
Jenna Corderoy and Lucas Amin
The right to access your personal information, enshrined in the Data Protection Act 1998, is a powerful tool against public authorities and private companies. By making Subject Access Request (SARs), you can access your personal information held by such institutions, allowing you to examine the extent to which they have been collecting, storing and using your personal information. This session will teach you how to draft effective SARs, and challenge organisations if they are being uncooperative. To finish, we will go through any problems that you have encountered while drafting and submitting SARs.

The Russian Doping Affair and Its Consequences
Hajo Seppelt
In March 2016 a documentary Geheimsache Doping: Russlands Täuschungsmanöver (The Doping Secret: Russia’s Red Herrings) was broadcast on the German network WDR. In it, Hajo Seppelt, together with co-author Florian Riesewieck, showed how Russian coaches and officials avoided conditions of the World Athletics Federation IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA. It sparked investigations and a subsequent disqualification of Russian athletes from international competitions.

Story-Based Inquiry 1: 
Hypothesise your story
Luuk Sengers and Mark Lee Hunter
Investigation has a dirty name with editors, who think it’s about slowly rummaging through piles of garbage till you find (or don’t find) a jewel. Too often, they’re right. This session will show you how to choose a subject and define your investigation as a story from the start, using hypotheses. The method helps you figure out what to look for, how to look for it and how to sell it to your boss and the public.

Story-Based Inquiry 2: Creative Techniques
Create the Timeline and Scenarise the story
Mark Lee Hunter and Luuk Sengers
In this session we map the plot of a story – a sequence of events that must have occurred, which we can subsequently verify and enrich. Simultaneously, we create scenes, with characters whose actions and conflicts define the content and meaning of the story. These events lead to the sources you need.

Story-Based Inquiry 3: From Source Mapping to the MasterFile
Build assets for the story and beyond
Luuk Sengers and Mark Lee Hunter
This session begins with an alternative to the timeline -- a map of the actors in your story and the sources they hold. Now that we've shown you where to acquire information assets, we'll show you how to optimise them! We'll create a simple but effective database in which you collect the results of your investigation. This "Masterfile" makes it easier to structure your story - the hardest part of composition. It's a way to write while you research, instead of first researching and then writing. It's also a way to build resources for a long, successful career.

Story-Based Inquiry 4: Craft the Story
From narrative effects to quality control
Mark Lee Hunter and Luuk Sengers 
This session shows you how to compose a story that hits hard and fast, and builds to a powerful conclusion. The core of this method is continuous composition and referencing - an approach that saves both time and anguish, for you and your colleagues. We turn the Masterfile into a narrative structure based on a chronology or a sequence of themes and characters. We apply techniques for controlling rhythm, the element that keeps your audience watching. We finish with quality control - reducing the risk of mistakes that can cause damage to others and your own reputation.

Tableau Data Viz 1
Sophie Sparkes and Florian Ramseger
Introduction to data journalism with Tableau Public:
- How to create simple charts (bar charts, line charts and maps)
- How to add simple interactivity to charts
- How to publish and embed visualization in your article
Bring own laptop. 
Please install Tableau Public prior to the start of the class.

Tableau Data Viz 2
Sophie Sparkes and Florian Ramseger
More advance data journalism with Tableau Public:
- Data cleaning and data preparation in Tableau
- More advanced formatting of charts
- Designing charts for mobile
Bring own laptop. 
Please install Tableau Public prior to the start of the class.
Paul Bradshaw
Scraping allows you to gather information from hundreds of webpages, documents or spreadsheets, saving days or weeks of legwork and reducing the scope for human error. In this introductory session Paul Bradshaw will show a range of examples of how scraping has been used in journalism, talk through investigative projects he's been involved in, and outline some basic scraping tools and techniques from his book Scraping for Journalists.

Data Journalism (CAR)

Note: B signifies the beginner’s course, A is the advanced course. Courses with numbers (eg Excel 1, Excel 2, Excel 3…) should be taken in sequence.
You do not need to have your own laptops for these classes. All classes take place in computer labs. Number of places is limited. Places are allocated on first come, first served basis. 
You’re new to data journalism and not sure how to get started adding data skills to your reporting toolkit? Or you’ve been to the Summer Conference before but see new data courses and want to know what they’re about. We’ll introduce you to data journalism, go over how to succeed in building your skills and answer your questions. This session is where it all begins.
Spreadsheets are a great way to get started with CAR. But what happens when that dataset gets a little too big, or your analysis too complex? That's when it's time to move to a database manager like Microsoft Access. This class will introduce the basics of working with databases, including basic queries, filtering and sorting.
The second Access course continues by introducing more complex analytical tools and techniques. The session will cover grouping, counting, summing and other aggregate functions.

Access 3: Joining Databases for Deeper Analysis

Basic analytical techniques only go so far when you have multiple datasets to work with. The third class in the database series introduces the real power of relational databases. In this session, you will learn how to take multiple tables of data and stitch them together to find hidden gems that make a great story.

Data Management: Importing and Cleaning Data (B) Hands-on
Caelainn Barr and Helena Bengtsson
You’re learning your data analysis skills and discovering how to find great story ideas in data. But you’re also discovering most data are not in great shape when you get databases from other sources or the web. And you’ve got to get that data into the apps you use for analysis. Learn strategies and techniques for importing the data into the tools you use and for cleaning that bad data.

Data Viz 1+2 (A) Hands-On
In this class, Daan Louter will explain how the Guardian visuals team work with data, as well as how you can create a simple data visualisation yourself using D3.
(NB!) This class requires basic programming knowledge.

See the timetable for trainers
Data is everywhere – from government computers to websites. This course introduces data analysis using Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheets can help reporters find story ideas in the data. Participants will learn basic calculations, rates, ratios and analytic tools that generate story ideas. 
See the timetable for trainers
The second spreadsheet course covers built-in analytical tools, such as sorting, filtering, chart creation that help reporters quickly find great stories within databases.

See the timetable for the trainers
To complete your spreadsheet toolkit, learn how to make pivot tables that will summarise trends in your data.

Excel 4: Statistics for Journalists (A) Hands-on
Crina Boros

Statistical analysis that produces good story tips does not have to be done with statistical software. Reporters comfortable with spreadsheets will find that many stats can be done using Excel. This session takes participants through cross-tabulations and regression analysis using a spreadsheet, and shows how reporters find stories with these techniques.
Fusion Tables: Google's Online Tool for Visualising Data (A)
Crina Boros 
When you examine your data, you see geographical values, such as street addresses, and you realize that seeing a map of your data will help in your analysis while also making a great interactive for users of your website. Learn how to map geographic data with this online tool from Google and add this skill to your data journalism toolkit.

Graph Database 1 (A) Hands-on
Leila Haddou  

Graph databases are fast becoming the go-to tool for investigative reporters seeking to understand the connections and relationships within their data. Used in the Panama Papers, this session will provide a practical introduction to Neo4j.
No Graph Database experience required. 
In the second session you will learn how to merge multiple datasets into the graph and the basics of the Cypher query language. 
No Graph Database experience required.

Python - 1 (A), Hands-on
Caelainn Barr and Will Franklin
In Python I we will introduce some basic programming concepts such as variables and functions, and learn some simple techniques that you can use to analyse and interrogate your datasets.

Python - 2 (A), Hands-on
Caelainn Barr and Will Franklin
Building on the lessons we learnt in the first class, in Python II we’ll look at  more advanced techniques to analyse and find patterns in the data for your story.

R - 1 (A), Hands-on
Caelainn Barr and Karrie Kehoe
In the first class, R I, we'll talk about the origins of R, what it can be used for, take a tour around RStudio, import data and learn some basic functions for getting to grips with our dataset.

R - 2 (A), Hands-on
Caelainn Barr and Karrie Kehoe
In R II we'll get down to some data wrangling and learn how to sort, filter, join and carry out some other basic functions in R that will allow you to identify trends in the data for storytelling.

R - 3 (A), Hands-On
Caelainn Barr and Karrie Kehoe
In the third and final class, R III, we'll explore some of the statistical packages in R and use ggplot2 for basic visual analysis.

 SQL 1: Learning Structure Query Language to Take Control of Your Data (A), Hands-on
Crina Boros and Helena Bengtsson
You’re using Excel and finding good stories in data. But you’re also needing to manage all of that data, store it and retrieve what you need from. Structured Query Language is the industry standard for data management and is its own analytical tool. This course gets you started learning SQL.

 SQL 2: Advancing your SQL Skills (A), Hands-on
Crina Boros and Helena Bengtsson
This second course in SQL builds on the first. You’ll learn more SQL commands to manage and analyse your data. After completion of this second SQL session, you should be on your way to including SQL as an important part of your data journalism toolkit. The instructor also will talk about how to continue your SQL development and what SQL apps are available on all platforms.

Tableau Data Viz 1
Sophie Sparkes and Florian Ramseger
Introduction to data journalism with Tableau Public:
- How to create simple charts (bar charts, line charts and maps)
- How to add simple interactivity to charts
- How to publish and embed visualization in your article
Bring own laptop.
Please install Tableau Public prior to the start of the class.
Tableau Data Viz 2
More advance data journalism with Tableau Public:
- Data cleaning and data preparation in Tableau
- More advanced formatting of charts
- Designing charts for mobile
Bring own laptop.
Please install Tableau Public prior to the start of the class.