Some class descriptions will have links to relevant handouts, please go to the class you are interested in to see if a handout is available. This page will be updated continuously up to the beginning of the summer school. Some classes will only have handouts in hard copy on the day.
how does it work?
computer assisted reporting (CAR)
how does it work?
The summer school comprises of three different types of sessions: keynote speeches, talks and Computer Assisted Reporting (CAR) workshops. There will be themed sessions relating to whistleblowing, taxation and the role of social media in investigative journalism running throughout the summer school. The CAR strand will be clearly marked.
The keynote speeches take place daily at lunchtime in the auditorium. They are also open to members of the public (£10 full price and £5 NUS/Student concessions).
The talks take place in rooms LG002 and LG003 and may form mini-strands. They are practical lectures/workshops followed by a Q&A.
The CAR workshops take place in computer labs: 2003, 2001 and 1001. They tend to be practical, hands-on classes. Please see below for more information on CAR.
You can attend any class in any order, but please note that some classes form a strand and if you miss the first ones, you may not benefit from the rest.
PLEASE NOTE - JULIAN ASSANGE UNABLE TO ATTEND
We're sorry to learn that because of the upcoming extradition trial which concludes immediately before the Summer School and new recent banking attacks on Wikileaks, Julian Assange is unable to come this year. You can read a message from Julian on the main tcij.org website.
Friday 15 July
Kristinn Hrafnsson - Wikileaks
Is the spokesperson for Wikileaks and brings a close working knowledge of the plans, methods and structures of the organisation. An experienced, three time award winning investigative television reporter who, along with his entire crew, was sacked from Icelandic television for exposing the secret connections between the Kaupthing Bank and leading businessmen. He has spoken for WikiLeaks in Europe, South America and Australia and is active in training investigative reporters in Iceland.
Saturday 16 July
Annie Machon - The Secret State and its Control of the Media
Former MI5 intelligence officer Annie Machon will look at how the security services use and manipulate the press. This is an exclusive talk with Annie who has not spoken about these specific issues before. She will discuss how journalists are used, stories influenced and information controlled using a system of access and ‘rewards’. Her departure from MI5 was reported round the world and she went on the run across Europe and lived in exile in France for three years.
Sunday 17 July
Kathryn Bolkovac - Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors and One Woman's Fight For Justice
Former DynCorp officer and US policewoman Kathryn Bolkovac blew the whistle on the UN police who were guilty of sex crimes, forced prostitution and sex slavery. She was fired by the British security firm after amassing evidence against her fellow employees and other police. Her story has been made into a film, The Whistleblower and she has co-authored a book: The Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors and One Woman's Fight For Justice.
Friday 15 July
Libel and related issues - Legal Update
Andrew Bousfield and Justin Walford
The class will cover libel, privacy and the Press Complaints Commission and how recent cases have affected the law. The PCC's Editors Code of Practice will be used duing this session.
The Editors' Code of Practice
Understanding Company Accounts: How UK Companies Avoid Tax
Richard Brooks, Richard Murphy
In the last few years the issue of tax avoidance has become prominent in the UK and elsewhere. But what is it? How do companies do it? What are the consequences? And what do journalists need to know when addressing the issue? These are the issues that Richard Murphy will address, using examples, focusing especially on the case of Google, where he has provided technical support to articles in the Sunday Times, Bloomberg and elsewhere
Media Legislation and Digital Freedoms
In this talk Smári McCarthy will discuss the International Modern Media Institute (IMMI) project's goals, its successes to date, and its plans for the future. He will then discuss the importance of sensible media legislation throughout Europe which suit the realities of information flow and the demands made for the availability of information in a digital age.
Whistleblowing and the EU
This session looks at problems faced by whistleblowers working inside EU institutions. It will examine the difficulties that journalists who work with these whistleblowers might face and considers the options for overcoming them.
Understanding Company Accounts: How to Get the Most of Companies House
Martin Tomkinson and Robert Miller
Any UK-based investigative journalist or aspirant 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 - if you know how to use the site. The aim of this class is to show people how to get the best out of the official website, as well as pointing out what can't be found here. 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.
Understanding Company Accounts: Forensic Accounting Parts 1-3
This three-part strand with one of Britain’s top forensic accountants Raj Bairoliya from FTI Consulting is for anyone who needs to understand company accounts to get beyond the corporate PR spin. It will explain how to understand the profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements plus those all important accountancy procedures and notes. At the end you should be able to recognise a potential Enron when you find one!
It is important to attend all three classes, as you will not be able to just join at any point.
CAR in the Newsroom
The need for journalists to understand and analyse data has never been
as crucial as now. But as more and more data comes into the public
domain, how do you persuade your editors and colleagues that CAR
skills are essential in today's newsroom? This session will provide
tips on how to incorporate CAR into your beat, how to develop your
skills and get into a 'data state of mind', and how to get your
colleagues on board.
Mapping and Visualisation for Story Gathering: Using Tableau
Sometimes words and tables of data aren't enough: we need to see our data to understand it and present it. This session shows how free software Tableau can be used to make visualisations a research tool as well as a way of presenting interactive visualisations on any website.
Saturday 16 July
Using the Freedom of Information Act
Freedom of information can be a valuable tool for journalists. Rob Evans will talk about how to use freedom of information effectively, what are the pitfalls, and when there is no point using it. He will highlight examples of stories which have drawn on information obtained under the act.
Tame Your Documents with DocumentCloud
DocumentCloud is a free online service that provides a set of tools designed to help journalists analyse and share source documents, and make it simple to publish those documents to the web. This class walks you through the core features of DocumentCloud, including entity extraction, advanced searches, sharing documents securely and publishing to the web.
Offshore Jurisdictions: Seek and Hide
Jeff Katz and Martin Woods
In this session, Jeff Katz will provide some background on the corporate investigations sector, then a review of information available from corporate registers in offshore jurisdictions, followed by an overview of the secrecy provided by offshore jurisdictions. Martin Woods will then provide a case study of how offshore jurisdictions are used to disguise the origins of financial transactions.
The tax haven in Delaware
Offshore Jurisditions presentation
The Guardian: How a Big US bank Laundered Billions from Mexico's Murderous Drug Gangs
Offshore Financial Centres and Cross-Border Investigations
Offshore Financial Centres play a significant role in international finance but have a reputation for complexity that can be difficult to decipher and secrecy. David Marchant will explain why OFCs exist, the types of products and services they offer, the types of clients that use them and offer tips on obtaining information about individuals and businesses operating offshore, including utilising one of the most important investigative tools for cross-border financial investigations – MLATs (requests for judicial assistance under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties).
View the handout for this session
Investigative Journalism and Digital Technology - Impacts, Innovations and Inspirations
Iain Overton is the editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a not for profit based at City University London. He will talk about how digital media has impacted the field of investigative journalism. He will address the challenges that digital media has created, both in terms of its financial impact on the funding of investigations and the impact of new media such as Twitter, Video on Demand and Facebook. He will also talk about how digital technology can aid quality investigations - both in terms of helping journalists find stories as well as getting those stories heard. His talk will be illustrated with the Bureau's direct experience in conducting investigations such as the Wikileak's Iraq War Logs and their work with the FT on EU structural funds.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism picked up the Digital Media prize for its dedicated website www.iraqwarlogs.com at the 2011 Amnesty Media Awards. The Iraq War Logs, a specialist website exploring the records of US forces' actions in Iraq, obtained by Wikileaks, exposes human rights abuses by coalition and Iraqi troops during the conflict.
Using Twitter and Other Techniques to Collaborate in Hard-Hitting Investigations
Has social media given rise to an army of citizen journalists who are undercutting paid reporters? Or can new technology make it easier to hold powerful organisations to account? Paul Lewis, Special Projects Editor at the Guardian, will reveal how he has used Twitter and other techniques to collaborate in hard-hitting investigations. Using two case studies - the deaths of the newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson and the Angolan refugee Jimmy Mubenga - he will explain how he traced witnesses and sourced material that disproved the official version of events released by the authorities. He will also speak about the hidden dangers and risks involved in utilising social media to report big stories.
Panel: The Role of NGOs in Investigative Journalism
Panel discussion with Gavin Hayman, Global Witness; Benedict Southworth, People and Planet; Julian Newman, Environmental Investigations Agency and chaired by Paul Lashmar
This panel will discuss whether NGOs and other campaigning organisations are becoming a new home for investigative journalism. And if so, what practical and ethical issues does this raise?
Panel: Margaret Haywood, Eileen Chubb and Terry Bryan
A look at what it means to be a whistleblower in the medical profession. Terry Bryan will explain how Winterbourne View Hospital came to be on Panorama - he will talk about the events leading up to his whistleblowing, the aftermath and also question why the situation there was allowed to happen. Margaret Haywood will talk about her experience of whistleblowing and how she dealt with the fall out from it.
How to Report Public Spending: Case Studies from the NHS
This course will explain the basic concepts in public spending and accounts, showing you where the bodies are buried, how to decode jargon and what questions to ask. It will focus on the £100bn spent each year on the NHS, how to trace where it goes in individual NHS organisations and how to find stories in financial reports and data.
The HBOS Story and the Lessons Learned
This session will examine how failures in organisational culture and ethics within financial organizations and banks that led the the financial crisis. The former head of Global Risk at HBOS, Paul Moore, will discuss his experiences as a financial whistleblower and the failures of corporate governance that he witnessed during his time in the City.
Ikea - Tax Planning Through a World Wide Web of Companies and Foundations
On the evening of January 26 this year, Sweden was shaken by an investigative TV programme about Ikea and its iconic founder Ingvar Kamprad, a national hero who has profiled Ikea as 'the good company'. The programme disclosed Ikea´s extensive tax planning through several tax havens, including using an until then totally unknown foundation in Liechtenstein. Stellan Björk was a researcher in the investigation and also wrote articles. In this session he will describe how the investigation was done - digging into company registers, analysing annual reports and other documents, visiting the tax havens that Ikea uses, and talking to people in and outside the company to finally put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Protecting Information on your Computer Part 1
Learn practical and simple techniques through step-by-step instructions to improve the security of your data. This session will examine how to protect your computer from spyware and hackers, protect the sensitive files on your computer and destroy sensitive information.
Whistleblowing and the Law Part 1
Gavin Millar QC and Dr Andrew Scott
This will be a practical exposition in which Gavin Millar QC and Dr Andrew Scott will explain the law surrounding whistleblowing. They will look at issues facing journalists pre-publication, as well as the legal proceedings which may follow. This will cover the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, the law of confidentiality and privacy – including public interest defences, the Bribery Act 2010 and applications for source disclosure and source protection.
The session will also examine interim injunctions, production orders under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, the discovery process in confidence and privacy actions and relying on sources as part of a 'Reynolds' public interest defence in defamation.
Whistleblowing and the Law Part 2
Gavin Millar QC, Dr Andrew Scott and Gill Phillips
A hypothetical whistleblowing case will be provided before this session. Gill Phillips will work through the hypothetical as the newspaper lawyer advising the journalist. The exercise will cover key practical issues such as how best to protect the source, whether there is a sufficient public interest to publish, constructing a 'Reynolds' defence and defending a source disclosure/PACE production application.
Gavin and Andrew will question Gill and raise variants on the hypothetical as she works it through. The class will be encouraged to do so as well.
View the Handout for this session
Download the slideshow for this session
Panel - Phone Hacking
Veteran Journalist David Leigh, Lawyer Gavin Millar and Jeff Katz discuss the the revelations concerning phone hacking and the impact of the scandal on the British media and political landscape.
Sunday 17 July
Student Journalists and the Data Protection Regime
Protecting Privacy and the Security of your Communications Part 2
This session is focused on practical advice that will help you to keep your Internet communication private and secure. We will investigate how to improve the security of your email and instant messaging, as well as techniques to remain anonymous and bypass censorship on the Internet. We will also discuss how to use mobile phones as securely as possible.
Lifting the Lid on Town Hall Spending
Your legal right to investigate local councils and police authorities is under threat. The imminent demise of the Audit Commission for England, coupled with the decision of the Court of Appeal in October 2010 to limit the right of the public (including journalists) to inspect and copy contracts, invoices, bills and expenses claims, and the proposals to replace Police Authorities with directly elected commissioners means journalists must work harder in future to uncover corruption and profligate spending. This CIJ workshop offers practical advice on how to get past the Town Hall 'PR firewall' and obtain the important financial records that the bureaucrats and local politicians would rather keep under wraps.
What to do when there is no data - Sampling and Building Databases
Just because a database doesn't exist or you can't get one doesn't mean you can't do the story. You'll learn how to think outside the box by using sampling, surveys and other tools to create your own database. We will also look at some examples of stories that used these techniques.
This session will look at the tools and techniques used in exposing spin, from FOIs to films and the Powerbase wiki, to reveal the links for example between government and the private healthcare industry, or undercover police and private security companies targeting activist groups.
Whether students are producing magazines, newspapers, radio and TV programmes or websites as part of their formal university studies, or independently to 'showcase' to prospective employers, the Data Protection Act places obligations on tutors, students, examiners and colleges. This workshop is designed to provide delegates with an easy-to-follow overview of the legislation, an understanding of the obligations facing 'data controllers', and examines some of the 'grey areas' affecting undergraduates and postgraduates on media and journalism courses.
The Story-Based Inquiry Track: Processes for Reporters Under Pressure
One of our most popular annual offerings, the Story-Based Inquiry track offers concepts and tools for the conception, strategy, organisation and composition of investigative projects. Each session in the track may be taken separately or combined with others, and all have been updated with the latest research from the authors.
Hypothesis-based Investigation: The Key to Starting, Selling and Managing your Project Part 1
Investigation has a dirty name with editors, who think it's about slowly rummaging through piles of garbage till you find (or don't find) a jewel. Too often, they're right. This session will show you how to choose a subject and define your investigation as a story from the start, using hypotheses. This method helps you figure out what to look for, how to look for it and how to sell it to your boss and the public.
Making and Using the Masterfile Part 2
The masterfile is the working tool of the story-based inquiry method. It’s a document in which you collect the results of your investigation according to the structure of your future story. It starts with a hypothesis and ends with source material. While you build your masterfile, you are writing and investigating the story at the same time, instead of first researching and then writing. Specific techniques taught in this session include building a chronology and setting the scene for the story.
From Open to Closed Sources Part 3
You’ve got your hypothesis, and now you need to prove it – or disprove it. This session focuses on open and closed sources, and how to arrange them into a strategy of research. A key technique that will be taught in this session is source mapping – locating the people and documents necessary to your story. We then consider the use of open sources to delimit and deduce secrets, and as preparation for interviews.
Writing an Investigation: The Last (and First) Hurdle Part 4
This session shows you how to compose a story that hits hard and fast, and builds to a powerful end. The core of this method is continuous composition and referencing an approach that saves time and anguish for you and your colleagues. We will consider narrative structures and how to build them from a chronology or a sequence of scenes, before moving on to quality control, and from there to promotion.
Panel discussion Margaret Haywood, Eileen Chubb and Terry Bryan
Tunnelling Under FIFA's Barbed Wire
Andrew Jennings takes a look at FIFA and the characters that run it amid allegations of corruption, bribes and kickbacks - all to the innocent applause of billions of sports fans. He offers fresh insights into the awarding of billion-dollar contracts and provides a lesson in finding criminal wealth by lifting carpets in shady corners.
How To Do Covert Filming
Sky's undercover reporter will talk about how he approaches assignments, the dangers faced and tools to help you go undercover. He will also discuss his recent work on undercover investigation that was secretly filmed by an inmate in a high security prison, as he turned from prisoner to whistleblower to highlight conditions inside UK prisons.
Learn how to streamline your newsgathering in a world of information overload. This practical lab will explore various free sources for online news, spanning ‘push’, ‘pull’ and ‘push-pull’ technologies. It will also explore search theory, aggregated news, and personalised syndication in online newsgathering. Automated news discovery via RSS feeds (and their application across active and static sources) will be explored, as well as advanced filtration of syndicated content. This practical lab will introduce those cutting edge technologies (including real-time search) that offer more and more sophisticated means of turning your laptop into an up-to-the-minute, personalised wire service.
Web detective with Paul Myers
Paul specialises in internet research and will teach you how to get the most out of the web.
How to look for dictator’s loot.
This session will look at how dictators and corrupt politicians use the global financial system to loot government coffers, accept bribes and spend the proceeds of corruption on a life of luxury. Robert Palmer will work through a number of Global Witness’ case studies – including the recent revelation of which banks held Libyan state funds – explaining the role of the financial sector in facilitating corruption and how to uncover it.
computer assisted reporting (CAR)
Many of the advanced computer-assisted reporting techniques allow us to find stories we might otherwise miss. In this demo you will see how statistics, mapping, open-source software, social network analysis and web tools can expand your CAR skills. While the demo sessions are not hands-on, you'll learn how these tools are expanding the reach of investigative reporting.
The CAR classes are offered at two levels, beginner (B) and advanced (A). Instructors will assume participants have the following skills before beginning each session:
No CAR skills are needed for this course, but participants should be comfortable with Windows, using a mouse etc. The Excel and Access courses are sequenced, so participants should not take Excel 2 without completing Excel 1, nor Access 2 without completing Access 1.
Participants should be familiar with using spreadsheets, database managers and analysing databases of government documents and records. Instructors will assume participants possess online search skills. Completing the beginner's class will prepare you for any of the advanced classes.
Introduction to Statistics
Learn how to take your analysis to another level using statistical tools. In this introduction, you learn how to examine your data, build crosstabs and calculate correlations.
CAR intro (B) Demo
What is Computer Assisted Reporting? How can reporters benefit from CAR skills? Digging in institutional databases can take your investigative skills to a new level. In this class, participants learn about the tools of CAR and see examples of how it can enhance their reporting. In addition to demonstrations, there will be time to ask questions in this session.
Excel 1: The Power of Data Analysis for Stories (B) Hands-on
Data is everywhere – from government computers to websites. This course introduces data analysis using Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheets can help reporters find story ideas in the data. Participants will learn basic calculations, rates, ratios and analytic tools that generate story ideas. Class handout: Excel quick tips.
Excel 2: Finding Patterns in the Data (B) Hands-on
The second spreadsheet course covers built-in analytical tools, such as sorting, filtering, chart creation that help reporters quickly find great stories within databases.
Excel 3: Summarising your Data for the Big Picture (B) Hands-on
To complete your spreadsheet toolkit, learn how to make pivot tables that will summarise trends in your data.
Excel 4: Applying Statistics for Journalists (A) Hands-on
Statistical analysis that produces good story tips does not have to be done with statistical software. Reporters comfortable with spreadsheets will find that many stats can be done using Excel. This session takes participants through cross-tabulations and regression analysis using a spreadsheet, and shows how reporters find stories with these techniques.
Importing Data to Excel (B) Hands-on
The web is flooding with data, but before it can be analysed, it needs to be transferred to a computer. Here, participants will be introduced to different methods of data transfer from web pages and PDF files using Microsoft Excel. Instructors will also demonstrate advanced web scraping.
Access 1: Understanding Databases (B) Hands-on
Spreadsheets are a great way to get started with CAR. But what happens when that dataset gets a little too big, or your analysis too complex? That's when it's time to move to a database manager like Microsoft Access. This class will introduce the basics of working with databases, including basic queries, filtering and sorting.
Access 2: Digging for the Story (B) Hands-on
The second Access course continues by introducing more complex analytical tools and techniques. The session will cover grouping, counting, summing and other aggregate functions.
Access 3: Joining Databases for Deeper Analysis (B) Hands-on
Basic analytical techniques only go so far when you have multiple datasets to work with. The third class in the database series introduces the real power of relational databases. In this session, you will learn how to take multiple tables of data and stitch them together to find hidden gems that make a great story.
CAR: Questions and Answers (B)
So you've completed much of the CAR training, but you still have questions and concerns. Can't remember how to do a pivot table? Wonder how executing a database join will help you discover a story? Then this session is for you. Using a Q&A format, instructors will review any of the CAR skills taught in the summer school. Come with questions.
Basic Scraping for Journalists - Scraping Data with ScraperWiki Hands-on Part 1
- We will give an overview of scraping and the varying complexity attached to scraping different formats including HTML, CSV, Excel, PDFs, and forms. This session will show journalists the basics for scraping CSV and/or Excel files from the web and how to put the data into a database.
Basic Scraping for Journalists - Querying and Analysing Scraped Data in ScraperWiki Hands-on Part 2
Part II - In this session we will show journalists how to query data and also we will give some examples on how the data can be viewed and visualised. We will also explain the concept of an API and how to get the data out in another format. Part I is a prerequisite for part II.
Internet 101 (B), Hands-on
Learn the best practices for the most effective and efficient internet searching. This class will take you through the basics of search engines, directories, social networking sites and internet skills that all reporters use in their hunts for sources, data and stories.
Dreaming Data: Where do ideas for data investigations come from? (With lessons from the Wall Street Journal and the Center for Public Integrity)
Elena Egawhary and David Donald
You’ve got the data tools and have built your skills. But how do apply what you’ve learned to the day-to-day work of generating stories from data? This session will cover where data ideas come from and how they’re developed, including a look at how the Wall Street Journal and the Center for Public Integrity acquired and analyzed a huge database of U.S. Medicare healthcare claims.
From the Center for Public Integrity
Unproven for Older Women, Digital Mammography Saps Medicare Dollars
Data Analysis on Digital Mammography Medicare Claims
Little-known AMA Group has Outsized Influence on Medicare Payments
From the Wall Street Journal
In Medicare's Data Trove, Clues to Curing Cost Crisis
Medicare Records Reveal Troubling Trail of Surgeries
Mapping for Stories 1 (A) Hands-on
You’ve seen how Google maps can quickly show the geography behind the numbers. Learn how to make a basic interactive map from a list of addresses with help from Google maps. Class handout: creating a one-layer map.
Mapping for Stories 2 (A) Hands-on
Mapping as a reporting tool is exploding onto new websites. This session will introduce you to geographical information systems that produce statistical maps and other visualisations. Learn how to use ArcView to analyse data geographically to dig deeper into your reporting. Class handout: making quick online maps.
Social Network Analysis (A) Demo
Journalists often notice how various groups differ from the rest of the society in terms of sex, age, income level, etc. This course introduces the use of methods that enable us to examine the social structure inside a group and between that group and society. It is now possible for a reporter to describe who has the most powerful connections in a community and how business boards are connected through interlocking directorships. Class handout: social networking tools.
Latest Web Tools for Posting Data and Visualisation (A)
In most newsrooms, time and money are hard to come by. We'll show you some free tools to use for doing basic CAR and doing online visualisation of data.
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