Summer School 2009

Despite, or perhaps because of, the economic downturn this year’s CIJ Summer School attracted more people than ever – with over 50 speakers and 130 delegates from as far afield as Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, Japan, Macedonia, Poland, Russia and the USA.

As always we had a packed programme, featuring some of the leading names in the field, from around the world. Ian Hislop’s interview with Melanie McFadyean on the interplay between satire and investigative journalism, got people talking: ‘refreshingly open’, was how one delegate described it. Chuck Lewis spoke twice at this year’s event, his talk on the emerging investigative journalism ecosystem prompted one of you to say:

‘It completely opened my eyes to the real need for more investigative journalists…’

David Leigh’s talk on the legal intimidation which many investigative journalists experience in the UK, prompted a lot of feedback on the importance of knowing your rights and the law, including:

‘A great teacher – very helpful and practical advice’.

The recent economic crisis has got a lot of people thinking about business and finance issues, and our Understanding Company Accounts sessions were very popular.

‘Thoroughly interesting, clear and informative, and for me it was worth the summer school cost itself’.

‘Raj [Bairoliya] made accounts less daunting by speaking ‘normal’ English and translating the jargon.’

A number of attendees enjoyed the chance to network in our East meets West strand. This is the first time we have run it, and we were pleased to receive positive comments, including:

‘Good to hear experiences from people who come from countries we normally don’t hear about’

Many delegates expressed frustration that there were so many talks they couldn’t attend all the ones they were interested in. Every year we try to repeat as many sessions as possible while offering a wide range of subjects. This is not an easy thing to get right. It is inevitable that when running a conference comprising five strands simultaneously, there will be some clash so hard choices sometimes just have to be made. There was one thing attendees wanted more of though – coffee!

‘For the future could you please arrange for the coffee not to run out by 10am.’

‘Get bigger coffee jugs and possibly an espresso [machine]!’


View the full timetable for 2009

Talks and Training

Investigating the Economic Crisis
Ann Pettifor and Tony Hillier disucss how to go about investigating the economic crisis.

Document Cloud
Aron Pilhofer explain about Document Cloud – a way for journalists to share source documents online.

In Search of Truth
Chuck Lewis talks about power, the news media and the public’s right to know.

The New Investigative Journalism Ecosystem
Chuck Lewis looks at how developments in technology can change the way that journalists work.

Exposing Spin
David Miller, co-founder of Spinwatch explains how to see past the PR spin.

MPs’ Expenses
Heather Brooke discussed how she used the Freedom of Information Act to uncover the MPs’ expenses story.

Managing and Writing Investigations
Mark Hunter shows you how to manage your research and present it as an interesting story.

Town Hall Finance
Richard Orange looks at how to go about investigating local authorities.