#CIJ2020: Upcoming Training Sessions

Over the course of 2019 the Centre for Investigative Journalism has run 59 training sessions, delivering training on investigative practices, skills and techniques to over 900 participants from across the UK and beyond. 

We’ll continue delivering more training sessions next year – including #CIJWellTold, #CIJSummer and the Logan Symposium. We’re wrapping up this year by bringing you a forward look at our scheduled training sessions for 2020 – and don’t forget we also run bespoke training sessions tailored to your organisation's needs.

If you’d like to find out more about any of the courses listed below or if you'd like to be notified of course dates, email tom@tcij.org


Finding Stories With Data

Why​ ​should​ ​you​ ​know​ ​how​ ​to​ ​find​ ​stories​ ​in​ ​spreadsheets?​ Data analysis has become an indispensable tool for investigative reporting and research, but also a very sought-after skill for beat reporting. By crunching a few numbers or learning to aggregate, you can discover whether a problem is systematic or incidental, find the good or bad news story at a graph’s glance, or discover the devil in the details.

Click HERE for more details about this course.


Data-Driven Investigations

This course will give participants an opportunity to take their core data skills to the next level and combine them with advanced internet research for rich, in-depth investigations.

Drawing from real life examples and scenarios, this course will guide attendees from hypothesis to story, including sections on working with spreadsheets, scraping and importing data, investigating people and companies and the latest tools and techniques.

The data is rarely the story in itself. This weekend will help you find the human face to add impact and relevance.

Click HERE for more details about this course.


Using FOIA More Effectively

Freedom of Information. Three harmless words. 

I look at those words as I write them, and feel like shaking my head ’til it drops off. You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it.

Tony Blair, 2010

One of the most important skills for journalists today is knowing how to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Most journalists have come across FOIA and many will have submitted a request or two. But this course will take your use to the next level, covering how to formulate public interest arguments against the most common exemptions, projects involving multiple requests and an opportunity to get one-to-one guidance on your specific requests.

Click HERE for more details about this course.


Covert Investigations

Sometimes, the only way to get to the story is to go undercover. Learn how from our trainers, all experienced experts in the field.

This one day course will give you an insight into the many aspects of preparation for an undercover investigation. From technical advice on covert filming equipment and techniques, to the ethical and legal points that must be considered before embarking on this kind of investigative project. Our trainers have completed dozens of covert filming projects and have seen it all!

Click HERE for more details about this course.


Introduction to Code for Journalists

This weekend workshop is designed as an introductory primer to learning to code, showing recent story examples, explaining the fundamental concepts in programming and demystifying the jargon.

Through a series of practical exercises, you will learn how code is used by reporters to find stories and aid investigations, how to write and run scripts and gain a basic understanding of how computer programs are structured. Exercises will include a “my first program”, building and scraping basic web pages and automating tedious and repetitive tasks.

We will also provide a guide to the most common programming languages to help you identify which would suit your needs and how to continue your learning.

Click HERE for more details about this course.


Python for Journalists
Getting to grips with spreadsheet software can take you a long way with Data Journalism, but there is a dataset size threshold above which tools like Excel become useless. As data becomes more ubiquitous and available, this threshold is being breached far more frequently. In the near future, knowledge of tools beyond those such as Excel will become more and more essential to any in-depth data-driven investigation.

This is where proficiency with coding becomes hugely important and Python is fast becoming one of the favourite languages for data journalism tasks, from analysis and comparative study of multiple huge datasets, to detailed and flexible scraping techniques and producing beautiful interactive visualisations quickly and with ease. Using real datasets from British, EU and US sources, this course will train participants in using Python for gathering, analysis and visualisation of big data. 

Our trainers are employed by well-known broadcasters or newspapers and have used data journalism regularly throughout their careers. They are able to show participants examples of stories they have found through datasets and encourage them to do the same.


Investigating Data with R

R is a free open-source statistical computing language that will save you time whether you’re scraping, querying, analysing or presenting your data.

To begin we’ll take a tour around RStudio, import some data and learn some basic functions for getting to grips with our datasets.

We’ll then start using R for some data wrangling and learn how to sort, filter, join and carry out other functions in R that will allow you to identify trends in the data for storytelling.

Click HERE for more details about this course.


Web Scraping for Journalists

Faster than FOI and more detailed than advanced search techniques, scraping allows you to grab data that organisations would rather you didn’t have – and put it into a form that allows you to draw meaningful conclusions.

Scraping – getting a computer to capture information from online sources – is one of the most powerful techniques for data-savvy journalists who want to get to the story first, or find exclusives that no one else has spotted.

Paul Bradshaw will show you how to scrape content from the web and find stories that otherwise you might have been missed.

Click HERE for more details about this course.


The Centre for Investigative Journalism is a think-tank, alternative university and an experimental laboratory set up to train a new generation of reporters in the tools of investigative, in-depth, and long-form journalism across all media. Registered as a charity, we robustly defend investigative journalists and those who work with them.