#CIJNewcastle Conference

Saturday 9 November 2019
The Boiler House, Newcastle University
Price: £5 - £19


Following on from last year's sell-out conference, we are delighted that we will once again be returning to Newcastle for a day of investigative talks and training.

In association with the Civic Journalism Lab at Newcastle University, we will be holding our one-day conference in the Boiler House, Newcastle University on Saturday 9 November.

#CIJNewcastle will feature talks from investigative journalists in the UK, as well as offering hands-on training in understanding companies house, digital tools for journalism, and reading accounts.

There will be lots of networking opportunities with a delegate's lunch and drinks reception included in the ticket price.


Due to sickness we will no longer be able to run Investigating International Corporate Networks but will have an additional session of digital tools for journalism.

8:45 - 9:15 Registration in the Lindisfarne Room
9:15 - 9:30 Welcome in the Boiler House
Introduction to the project and the work of the CIJ with James Harkin, Director of the CIJ
9:30 - 10:50 Boiler House
Keynote: Investigative Journalism In A Digital Age 
Emma Youle and Jess Brammar from HuffPost UK
10:50 - 11:10 Break, tea and coffee will be served in the Lindisfarne Room
11:10 - 13:10 Strand one
Stay in Boiler House
How to get the Most out of Companies House
with Martin Tomkinson
Strand two
Room B32
Barbara Strang Teaching Centre
Digital tools for journalism
Tom Sanderson
13:10 - 14:10 Lunch in the Lindisfarne Room
14:10 - 16:10 Strand one
Stay in Boiler House
Barbara Strang Teaching Centre
Reading accounts
Nick Mathiason
Strand two
Room B32
Barbara Strang Teaching Centre
Digital tools for journalism
Tom Sanderson (REPEAT SESSION)
16:10 – 16:30 Break, tea and coffee will be served in the Lindisfarne Room
16:30 – 17:30 Boiler House
Keynote: We’ll All Be Murdered In Our Beds!
Duncan Campbell,
the Guardian's former crime correspondent, talks to with Zubeida Malik, formerly a reporter for the BBC's Today programme about his latest book describing how crime reporting has changed over the last fifty years and why it's still important for journalists to report the courts.
17:30 – 19:30 Drinks reception in the Lindisfarne Room

The talks

Investigative Journalism In A Digital Age
Special correspondent Emma Youle and executive editor Jess Brammar discuss how investigative journalism plays a key role in HuffPost UK’s newsroom and the challenges and opportunities of pursuing investigative stories in the age of 24/7 rolling news and multi-platforms.

We’ll All Be Murdered In Our Beds!
Duncan Campbell
, in conversation with Zubeida Malik, will talk about why crime reporting is so vital and how it has changed - both for the better and the worse - in the last fifty years. The following exert from the introduction to his latest book: We’ll All Be Murdered In Our Beds!  explain why he think it’s so important.

A day of court reporting provides as illuminating a snapshot as any lengthy think-tank report or ministerial briefing on the state of education, immigration, unemployment, mental health and popular culture, not to mention policing, the criminal justice system and the failures or successes of government policies. Nor is it a grim beat; the phrase “gallows humour” did not come from nowhere. Life and death. Human nature. Drama. As Edgar Wallace, himself a crime reporter before becoming the best-selling author in Britain, remarked: “truth is stranger than fiction and has every need to be since most fiction is founded on truth.” No wonder the television channels overflow every day with fictional - and a few non-fictional - criminals and detectives.

The speakers

Emma Youle is an award-winning investigative journalist who worked for regional newspapers before joining HuffPost UK as special correspondent. She has covered stories including the contaminated blood scandal, the housing crisis, historic child abuse, and won the Private Eye Paul Foot Award 2017 for her reporting exposing squalid conditions inside homeless hostels.

Jess Brammar is the executive editor of HuffPost UK. Before that she was deputy editor of the BBC's Newsnight, having joined the programme as a producer, covering domestic and foreign news. In her time at Newsnight she lead award-winning coverage on the Grenfell Tower fire and the Westminster bullying scandal. Prior to that she was a field producer for ITN, and a producer for BBC Question Time.

Duncan Campbell was the crime correspondent of the Guardian, the chairman of the Crime Reporters’ Association and has previously worked for LBC Radio, Time Out and City Limits magazines, and Robert Maxwell’s London Daily News. He was also the Guardian’s Los Angeles correspondent for five years and covered Latin America. He was the first presenter of Crime Desk, the Radio 5 Live programme. He has written four books on crime: That Was Business, This is Personal: the Changing Faces of Professional Crime (1989); The Underworld (1994) and its updated version Underworld (2019); A Stranger and Afraid: the Story of Caroline Beale (1997); We’ll All Be Murdered in Our Beds, the Shocking History of Crime Reporting in Britain (2016). Also two novels, The Paradise Trail and If It Bleeds, and two books with Billy Connolly (Billy Connolly: the Authorised Version and Gullible’s Travels) with whom he toured Britain in 1975, and the Middle East and the US in 1981. He won the Bar Council newspaper journalist of the year award in 1992. In 1997, he was the defendant in a libel action brought by eight police officers, backed by the Police Federation, over an article he had written about police corruption in Stoke Newington; the Guardian fought the action - defended by George Carman QC - and won, the first newspaper to win a libel case brought by the police in 95 such actions; it cost the Police Federation £600,000 in costs. He was consultant on King of Thieves, (2018) the film directed by James Marsh and starring Michael Caine and Ray Winstone about the Hatton Garden £14 burglary, which was partly based on an article he wrote about the case.

Zubeida Malik is an award winning journalist and broadcaster. She worked on the BBC's Today Programme for 18 years, which included high profile interviews, foreign reporting, domestic and social analysis and investigative work. She has also reported for the BBC's Newsnight and made documentaries for Radio 4.

The classes

How to get the Most out of Companies House
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.

Reading Accounts
Are you afraid of looking into numbers? Do you always phone an accountant friend to help you make sense of a balance sheet? Do company accounts seem like a completely different language to you? Using an actual set of accounts, this workshop will show you where to find the stories hiding in the numbers.

Investigating International Corporate Networks
The past 10 years have seen the rise of open data and the belief that some data - especially public records - should be made available for anyone to use, access and share at no cost. As a result, a wealth of information about companies has been uncovered, from basic company incorporation data, to annual accounts and even beneficial ownership.

Access to data is undoubtedly making unpicking complex and global corporate networks easier, but understanding how to find and use the data (alongside its caveats) can be tricky. This workshop will give you an introduction to where to find open data about companies, and how to use this data to quickly find and tell stories about the corporate world.

Digital Tools for Journalism
These days all journalists are digital journalists to some extent. However, there may be tools, techniques, and online platforms that will help make your research and fact-checking quicker, simpler and more effective, leaving you more time to get out of the office and speak to people, or to write up your findings into a compelling narrative.

This session will signpost a huge range of tools to help you search the internet more effectively, find eyewitnesses and potential sources, and follow the digital trails of fraudsters and criminals.

The trainers

Martin Tomkinson  is a veteran investigative financial journalist and corporate researcher. He was a financial researcher for The Mail on Sunday‘s ‘Rich List’ from 2000-2004 and has worked on The Sunday Times‘ ‘Rich List’ since 2005. Martin has written for all the UK’s major newspapers. He started work with Private Eye in 1972 and has worked as a freelance since 1981. He is the author of two books, Nothing to Declare: The Political Corruptions of John Poulson (with Michael Gillard) and The Pornbrokers: The Rise of the Soho Sex Barons.
Martin is a CIJ board member.

Nick Mathiason has been a business and finance journalist for close to 30 years and has broken a sizeable number of impactful stories that have had international prominence. Subjects investigated include developing countries access to medicine, vulture funds, labour issues and the growth of private equity.

One of the first UK journalists to report on industrial scale tax avoidance, in 2012 Nick founded and today co-directs Finance Uncovered. Formerly a business correspondent at the Observer, the Guardian, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Big Issue magazine for the homeless, Nick has been shortlisted for major international journalism prizes on numerous occasions.

Mollie Hanley is a writer, researcher and organiser, with a background in corporate transparency and open data. After graduating from SOAS, Mollie mobilised campaigns to open up public records about companies at OpenCorporates. Alongside her role boosting awareness of the CIJ's training courses, Mollie is Communications Associate at OpenOwnership, a global database of company owners. She is fascinated by infrastructure, and passionate about increasing financial literacy.

Tom Sanderson joined the Centre for Investigative Journalism in 2014. As Project Manager, his recent work has focused on supporting new models of non-profit community journalism and opening up access to investigative skills for those who are best-placed to apply them for the greatest impact.

The venue

The Boiler House is in the heart of the university on the King's Road. Built in 1923 it has recently been redeveloped to include an events space. The two training rooms are a short walk away in the Barbara Strang Teaching Centre.
Details of how to get to the venue can be found on the university's website, where you can also find details about travelling to Newcastle.

The prices

£19 for big organisations (10+).
£9 freelancers and small organisations.
£5 students and unwaged, please bring evidence on the day.
Free for Newcastle University students please bring your student ID card with you for registration.

With thanks

This event has been made possible with the support of the Lorana Sullivan Foundation and the Reva and David Logan Foundation

And is in partnership with the Civic Journalism Lab at Newcastle University

Reva and David Logan Foundation