The Centre for Investigative Journalism
The Centre for Investigative Journalism

4th CIJ Logan Symposium

Collective Intelligence

16–19 November 2020

Investigative Training

Over the course of the symposium the CIJ is running a brand new series of training workshops and conversations exploring new developments in investigative practice, and offering attendees the chance to hone their skills.

All training sessions will be free to attend but will have a limited number of places available. Access links to individual sessions will be made available on the dashboard.


Building Databases for Transparency

Date and Time: Tuesday 17th Nov, 17:00-18:30 UTC

From troves of leaked documents to huge datasets and scraped collations of public records, what are the priorities of those that need these resources to dig deeper and use the information to hold the powerful to account, and to what extent do those needs fit with the possibilities and opportunities available to the experts working to build, open and maintain them?

In this Roundtable, investigative journalist Katherine Eban will moderate an expert panel, drawn from those who both build and use such databases for investigative research. The participants will be addressing a whole range of relevant questions, including automation and AI, funding models, and the balances that need to be struck between source protection and transparency, or between technical functionality and front-end usability.


FOIA Terrorism

Date and Time: Wednesday 18th Nov, 17:00-18:30 UTC

Few people have put the Freedom of Information Act to such good use in pursuit of the public interest as Jason Leopold, the investigative journalist the FBI referred to as a ‘FOIA Terrorist’.

Join this Masterclass to learn from his experience, as he explains how to navigate the often complex request and appeals process of the US FOI Act; get access to documents and data for your own stories; and help to push forward transparency and accountability for everyone.


Investigating Procurement

Date and Time: Thursday 19th Nov, 15:00-16:00 UTC

The global response to COVID-19 has put procurement in the spotlight. Masks, school lunches, potholes: that’s where the government put taxpayer’s money to work. Globally, US $13 trillion is spent on contracts with private companies. This session will explore tactics and tools to investigate public procurement and provide tips for monitoring red flags and using public data provided by the government. We’ll look into specific case studies and share some of the most outrageous stories.


Information Security for Journalists

Dates and Times:
Monday 16th November 15.00–17.00 UTC
Tuesday 17th November 10.00–12.00 UTC
Wednesday 18th November 10.00–12.00 UTC
Thursday 19th November 10.00–12.00 UTC

Session 1: A general introduction to information security

This first session will serve as a general introduction to the (broad!) field of information security. We will be giving some basic definitions, describing possible risks of using digital technologies, and introducing some of the available strategies and tools to improve our security. Examples and exercises will help put things in context and understand the more abstract concepts. We will maintain a focus on those scenarios and strategies that are particularly relevant to the practice of journalism.

Session 2: Safe web browsing

This session will focus on web browsing: main risks and mitigation strategies. A look at some of the technological elements behind the internet (eg the network of submarine cables, web cookies, etc) will help us understand how certain forms of surveillance are possible and how certain cyber-attacks are carried out. We will be adding some new items to your infosec toolbox, such as privacy-protecting browser extensions, the Tor Browser, the Tails operating system. We will save the time for examples and exercises.

Session 3: Encrypted communications

What’s the digital journey an email or text message have to go through when travelling from sender to recipient? How are these electronic messages processed and encoded? Who are the actors (in between sender and recipient) that make this communication possible and what fraction of the information exchanged do they have access to? We will answer these questions while explaining concepts such as encryption, end-to-end encryption, metadata, and anonymity. Hands-on activity with VeraCrypt, OnionShare, and (time permitting) GnuPG/PGP.

Session 4: More advanced scenarios and an AMA session

This fourth and last session will be for addressing slightly broader and more advanced topics such as evil maid attacks, crossing a border with digital devices, (hints of) operational security, cloud storage options (risks and benefits), free and open source collaborative platforms (eg Nextcloud, Mattermost, and Etherpad), how to preserve digital evidence. A ask-me-anything session.



FOIA Terrorism

Few people have put the Freedom of Information Act to such good use in pursuit of the public interest as Jason Leopold, the investigative journalist the FBI referred to as a ‘FOIA Terrorist’. In this Masterclass Jason shares his experience, as he explains how to navigate the often complex request and appeals process of the […]


Infosec for Journalists

This masterclass series is comprised of four 90-min hands-on sessions on information security for journalists. It will cover the risks associated to digital technologies and mitigation strategies that can be employed to improve our security, as citizens and as professionals.