Summer School 2012

    Delegates at the 2011 Summer School

    The Watergate Equation: Investigative Journalism = Good Journalism + Time

    City University London
    6 July 2012 - 8 July 2012

    This year’s Summer School looks at what makes a great investigative journalist and will cover everything from the latest technology to tried and tested investigative techniques.

    Prices: £450 full price, £325 NUJ members
    Student places are now fully booked but you can register your place on the waiting list.

    Visit the Summer School pages for more information.

    Course Outline

    What does it take to be a good investigative journalist? Watergate started with a routine local court story about a burglary. Britain’s biggest ever corruption scandal, surrounding the architect John Poulson, began with a bankruptcy court hearing. Revelations that one of the richest British families, the Vesteys, paid no tax were set out in civil court records. All politics is local and so is corruption. Think Dame Shirley Porter and Westminster council’s homes-for-votes scandal. Follow the money usually means following the corporate food chain – a paper trail that leads to the face behind the money. Think Michael Ashcroft and his funding of the Conservative Party.

    Documents make stories. Think the BAE slush fund and the State Department cables. But big stories, like secrets, need sources. From Woodward and Bernstein’s “Deep Throat” to Nick Davies and the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone. That means finding and developing contacts to make sense of the documents or open the door to receiving that box of secrets. Learn or relearn the powerful basics of investigative journalism – courts, councils, companies, contacts – where the big stories and basic journalism begin.