1. Class Information

    Class Information

    Detailed information about what you can expect at the 2016 CIJ Investigative Journalism Summer Conference.
    #CIJSummer

     

     

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  2. About the Conference

    Bookings are now OPEN

    #CIJSummer Conference
    22-24 June 2017
    Goldsmiths, University of London
     

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  3. Timetable 2017

    Timetable

    Plan your time at the Summer Conference. #CIJSummer

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  4. Teachers and Speakers

    Teachers and Speakers

    Some of the world's best speakers and trainers are coming to the CIJ Summer Conference. #CIJSummer

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  5. Directions

    Directions

    How to get to the CIJ Investigative Journalism Conference venue at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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  6. Previous Summer Schools

    Previous Summer Schools

    See our archive of videos and reviews from our previous Summer Schools.

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Class Information

This page will be updated on regular basis.

This year you can book for individual days as well as for all three days. On Thursday 22 June and Friday 23 June we will focus on practical skills, while Saturday 24 June will feature keynote talks, networking and discussions. 

Please note that some classes form mini-courses and are best attended as a whole.

The sessions marked [Rec] will be recorded.

The Data Journalism Workshops take place in computer labs. These sessions are practical, hands-on classes designed to teach participants the essential software and data analysis techniques used by journalists in the newsroom.

Some hands-on classes will require delegates to bring their own laptops with some software preinstalled. It will be clearly stated in the class descriptions and in the timetable. 

Refreshments are served several times a day (but not all the time) throughout the course, with a speakers and delegates lunch and drinks party held on Saturday.

Keynotes/Networking Day Saturday 24 June 

Tickets are available for individual days, including Saturday keynote talks only. See the Book Now page for more information.

09:30 - Welcome and introduction of the Gavin MacFadyen memorial lecture. 

09:50 -  The inaugural Gavin MacFadyen Memorial Lecture will be delivered by a Mexican journalist Anabel Hernández, who has confronted head-on – at significant personal risk to her and her family – corruption and the narcotics trade in Mexico. 

11:10 - Fact-Checking the US Presidential Elections and Donald Trump. Reporter at The Washington Post's famous Fact Checker, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, who's 'been fact-checking before it got cool' will share her experience and skills of fact-cheking the US Presidential campaign. 
13:10 - Useful journalistic tools and networking sessions (see below)

14:20 - How to fight 'Alternative Facts'? - a panel discussion with Natalia Antelava (Coda Story), Jessikka Aro (A Finnish journalists who investigated Russian internet trolls), Jasper Jackson (Assistant Media Editor of The Guardian), Alastair Reid (journalist, formerly from First Draft News). Chaired by Dr Yemisi Akinbobola (Birmingham School of Media).

 
15:50 - Talk TBC

17:00 - Drinks reception and networking

 

Networking Sessions and Journo Tools

We will be offering specific networking sessions and sessions offering useful resources for journalists. 
These will be informal meetings, lead by our trainers and speakers. Come for a cuppa and meet likeminded people.
Formats will vary.

Computer Security Advice Clinic

Visit the security zone at the Atrium with your laptop. You will learn to set-up various tools to browse anonymously, chat and mail with encryption and prevent data-loss from theft/confiscation of laptops and storage media. This will include the TOR-browser, PGP mailcrypto, OTR-chat.

The software tools we will be using are all free of cost and will work on Windows, Mac and Linux laptops. They will not work on iPads or Android tablets. Please bring a laptop that you are able/allowed to install software on and contact us with any specific questions beforehand.

You are advised to download CIJ Logan InfoSec handbook (free).

Talks and Mini-Courses

Thursday 22 June - Friday 23 June

(In alphabetical order. Excluding Data Journalism. See below.)

Accessing information under FOIA - 1
Jenna Corderoy and Sid Ryan
This session will outline the basics of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and how you can apply it to your research, campaigns and investigations. We’ll go through all the kinds of information that can be accessed from government bodies, including datasets, and how you can draft effective requests to get the most out of the Act. We will also take a look at how to make requests for information under the lesser-known Environmental Information Regulations. Towards the end of the session, we will demonstrate Alaveteli Pro, a new FOIA toolkit for journalists developed by MySociety.  

Accessing information under FOIA - 2
Jenna Corderoy and Sid Ryan
This session will go through the FOIA appeals process, and teach you how to argue your case when government bodies are doing whatever they can to prevent a disclosure. At the end of the session, we will look at how to send freedom of information requests around the world. To finish, we’ll discuss and work through some of the FOIA challenges that you have encountered. 
 

Covert Filming
Allan Harraden and Paul Samrai
This session on covert filming has evolved over the years into a state-of-the-art technical workshop looking at last-resort methods to acquire evidence for public interest investigations. It is taught by a leading undercover technician and an experienced television reporter who discuss the process and ethics of going undercover and look at the latest high-quality equipment.

Dealing with Large Datasets
Jonathan Stoneman
What do you do when faced with a really big dataset for the first time? Using examples, Jonathan Stoneman will discuss approaches which help reduce a daunting mountain of data to a manageable mass!
Although this is not a hands-on session it will be possible, for those who want to, to download the demo data and follow along.  
 

 
Debunking Russian fakes: How proper journalism and media literacy can help with fact-checking  
Mariia Zhdanova  
One of the first fake stories about Ukraine produced by Kremlin's propaganda was easily checked through a phone call. Since tactics of the disinformation campaigns evolve, one should not only learn the new tools of fact-checking but educate the audience as well. During this talk StopFake will share their algorithm of debunking fake stories, including traditional and innovative ways, and share its experience on improving media literacy in Ukraine. 

Follow the Money Masterclass - 1, Hands-on
Paul Radu
How does organised crime organise its business? What tools do they use to put together cross-border criminal networks? Criminals and corrupt politicians are creative and not confined to national borders. We need to understand how they operate in order to investigate them. On the practical side of this class, participants will put on their criminal hats and will devise a money laundering scheme.

Follow the Money Masterclass - 2, Hands-on
Paul Radu

Hurt them where it hurts: their money. Stop organised crime and corrupt politicians from doing business as usual by outing them via a combination of databases and field work. A practical, follow the money, exercise is included. We'll start with company records and find the money trail.

Follow the Money Masterclass - 3, Hands-on
Paul Radu

Follow the bank to find the money. Banks, including British ones, play an important role in the infrastructure of transnational crime. How to get to banking records, how to process them and how to find the story in them. Participants will receive banking records in order to identify crooked transactions. 
 

How to Get the Most Out of Companies House 
Martin Tomkinson and Robert Miller
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

 

How to Survive Financially while Investigating Rich People
Laura Ranca
The talk will focus on various funding models, on how to approach and how not to approach donors, how to understand, address and 'monetise' your audiences, and how to build a collaborative mindset that creates opportunities.
 
Internet 'Trolls': the Russian Example
Jessikka Aro
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime has taken control of the traditional media in Russia: TV, radio and newspapers. As Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has stated, the Kremlin sees the mass media as a ‘weapon’. Now Russia’s leadership is trying to take control of social media too, and for this massive operation a new information warfare tool has been mobilised—an army of fake social media Putin-fans, known as ‘trolls’. Trolling has had a serious impact on the freedom of speech, even outside Russia. How should the Kremlin’s trolls and disinformation be countered?
 
Libel and Privacy Laws
Justin Walford
Justin Walford will talk about libel and privacy and discuss how recent cases have affected the law. This class is for anyone who wants to update their legal knowledge and find out how they are affected by recent legal developments.
 
Panama Papers. How we did it. 
helena Bengtsson
See the work done behind the stories. Helena Bengtsson from The Guardian will show the data and walk through how the data analysis was done.
 
Power is Everywhere: How stakeholder-driven media build the future of watchdog news
Mark Lee Hunter
Media controlled by stakeholder groups, such as Greenpeace.org or Breitbart.com, are changing the rules and the economy of watchdog journalism. Instead of addressing public opinion, they address communities of action and influence, telling them not only what matters, but what to do about it. In this talk, based on a new, free e-book of the same title, we will look at the deep roots of this phenomenon, and above all, at how investigative journalists can live from and with this movement without sacrificing their values. 
Download for freePower is Everywhere: How stakeholder-driven media build the future of watchdog news

 

Story-Based Inquiry 1: 
Hypothesise your story
Luuk Sengers and Mark Lee Hunter
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. The 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.

Story-Based Inquiry 2: Creative Techniques
Create the Timeline and Scenarise the story
Mark Lee Hunter and Luuk Sengers
In this session we map the plot of a story – a sequence of events that must have occurred, which we can subsequently verify and enrich. Simultaneously, we create scenes, with characters whose actions and conflicts define the content and meaning of the story. These events lead to the sources you need.

Story-Based Inquiry 3: From Source Mapping to the MasterFile
Build assets for the story and beyond
Luuk Sengers and Mark Lee Hunter
This session begins with an alternative to the timeline -- a map of the actors in your story and the sources they hold. Now that we've shown you where to acquire information assets, we'll show you how to optimise them! We'll create a simple but effective database in which you collect the results of your investigation. This "Masterfile" makes it easier to structure your story - the hardest part of composition. It's a way to write while you research, instead of first researching and then writing. It's also a way to build resources for a long, successful career.

Story-Based Inquiry 4: Craft the Story
From narrative effects to quality control
Mark Lee Hunter and Luuk Sengers 
This session shows you how to compose a story that hits hard and fast, and builds to a powerful conclusion. The core of this method is continuous composition and referencing - an approach that saves both time and anguish, for you and your colleagues. We turn the Masterfile into a narrative structure based on a chronology or a sequence of themes and characters. We apply techniques for controlling rhythm, the element that keeps your audience watching. We finish with quality control - reducing the risk of mistakes that can cause damage to others and your own reputation.

Tableau Data Viz 1
Sophie Sparkes and Florian Ramseger
Introduction to data journalism with Tableau Public:
- How to create simple charts (bar charts, line charts and maps)
- How to add simple interactivity to charts
- How to publish and embed visualization in your article
Bring own laptop. 
Please install Tableau Public prior to the start of the class.
https://public.tableau.com

Tableau Data Viz 2
Sophie Sparkes and Florian Ramseger
More advance data journalism with Tableau Public:
- Data cleaning and data preparation in Tableau
- More advanced formatting of charts
- Designing charts for mobile
Bring own laptop. 
Please install Tableau Public prior to the start of the class.
https://public.tableau.com
 
 

Data Journalism (CAR)

All class descriptions are listed in alphabetical order. 

Note: (B) signifies the beginner’s course, (I) intermediate, (A) is the advanced course.
Courses with numbers (eg Excel 1, Excel 2, Excel 3…) should be taken in sequence.

 
You do not need to have your own laptops for these classes. All classes take place in computer labs. 
You can bring your own if you want. 
Number of places is limited. Places are allocated on first come, first served basis. 
-----------------------------------------------
Code for journalists 1 (B), Hands-on
Leila Haddou and Max Harlow
How can code help you or your team with investigations? This session will provide a hand-holding hands-on introduction to programming showing recent examples of published stories and demystifying the jargon. We will guide you through the tools you need including text editors and an introduction to the command line. 
 
Code for journalists 2 (B), Hands-on
Leila Haddou and Max Harlow
This session builds on the foundations from part one building up to "my first program" using programming language node.js. The programme will have a practical journalism application. By the end you will be comfortable with what code can do for your investigations and have taken your first steps to learning under expert guidance. 
 
Data Cleaning with Pandas 1 - (I), Hands-on*
Karrie Kehoe and Max Harlow
Data cleaning can feel more like data penance, but pandas can ease your pain, allowing you to clean and structure your data with minimal hassle. Jupyter Notebook's interactive environment helps us keep track of our changes and allows us to explore our data.
Participants can expect to learn how to clean large complicated datasets quickly and learn how to explore data too large for excel through browser based Jupyter Notebook.  
Participants should have previous experience of coding at a basic level or more
 
Data Wrangling with Pandas 2 - (I), Hands-on*
Karrie Kehoe and Max Harlow
Your data is squeaky clean and ready to go - time to dig deep and start hunting for elusive leads. Pandas allows us to quickly and easily perform statistical analysis on our data helping us to mine for stories and look for outliers.
Participants can expected to learn programatic methods to analyse large datasets and to visualise their results within Jupyter Notebook. 
Participants should have previous experience of coding at a basic level or more
 
*Why Python? 
Python makes it easy to replicate your analysis at a later stage and reduces the threat of human error that many face in Excel. It's also shareable within teams and allows you to document and explain your work within the notebook so you can come back to it later and easily pick up form where you left off. 
There are no upper limits in terms of data size, you can use Python on a csv with 10 rows or a billion. You get to a point where the limitation is the speed of the RAM on your machine, and which point you need to switch to a server. 

Data Management: Importing and Cleaning Data (B), Hands-on
Caelainn Barr and Helena Bengtsson
You’re learning your data analysis skills and discovering how to find great story ideas in data. But you’re also discovering most data are not in great shape when you get databases from other sources or the web. And you’ve got to get that data into the apps you use for analysis. Learn strategies and techniques for importing the data into the tools you use and for cleaning that bad data.

Dealing with large datasets
Jonathan Stoneman
What do you do when faced with a really big dataset for the first time? Using examples, Jonathan Stoneman will discuss approaches which help reduce a daunting mountain of data to a manageable mass!
Although this is not a hands-on session it will be possible, for those who want to, to download the demo data and follow along.  
 
 
Crina Boros and Jonathan Stoneman
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. 
 
Crina Boros and Jonathan Stoneman
The second spreadsheet course covers built-in analytical tools, such as sorting, filtering, chart creation that help reporters quickly find great stories within databases.
 

Crina Boros and Jonathan Stoneman
To complete your spreadsheet toolkit, learn how to make pivot tables that will summarise trends in your data.

 

Excel 4: Getting data into Excel (I), Hands-on
Helena Bengtsson and Luuk Sengers
How do I turn data on the internet into Excel? We will look at copying and pasting from a web page and how to think when transforming this data to a Excel table. We will also take a look at some useful formulas for manipulating and cleaning data. This session is not for beginners, you have to be comfortable with sorting and calculating in Excel.

 

Excel 5: Matching data in Excel (I), Hands-on
Helena Bengtsson and Luuk Sengers
This last Excel session will walk you through one of the most powerful functions in Excel, VLOOKUP. This allows you to match tables or collect data from one table into another. This session is not for beginners, you have to be comfortable with sorting, calculating and formulas in Excel. 

 
Exploring networks with Neo4j 1 (A), Hands-on
Leila Haddou and Max Harlow
In data journalism, we tend to use relational databases -  data in table form - such as Excel or SQL to do our analysis and find stories. Graph databases are different, but are incredibly useful to find connections or patterns within our data that would be difficult, if not impossible, to spot using a relational database.

The session will provide a hands-on introduction to Neo4j, showing examples of use for investigative stories including the Panama Papers, and building a graph database of political donations and matching them with corporate data to see at a glance the networks involved. 
No prior knowledge of Neo4j is required, but you must be on intermediate to advanced level in other data skills to benefit from this course. 

Exploring networks with Neo4j 2 (A), Hands-on
Leila Haddou and Max Harlow
In part two, we will learn to analyse our newly built graph database using Cypher, Neo4j's custom query language. It is advisable (though not obligatory) to have completed part one to get the most out of this session.
No prior knowledge of Neo4j is required, but you must be on intermediate to advanced level in other data skills to benefit from this course. 

Follow the Money Masterclass - 1, Hands-on
Paul Radu
How does organised crime organise its business? What tools do they use to put together cross-border criminal networks? Criminals and corrupt politicians are creative and not confined to national borders. We need to understand how they operate in order to investigate them. On the practical side of this class, participants will put on their criminal hats and will devise a money laundering scheme.

Follow the Money Masterclass - 2, Hands-on
Paul Radu

Hurt them where it hurts: their money. Stop organised crime and corrupt politicians from doing business as usual by outing them via a combination of databases and field work. A practical, follow the money, exercise is included. We'll start with company records and find the money trail.

Follow the Money Masterclass - 3, Hands-on
Paul Radu

Follow the bank to find the money. Banks, including British ones, play an important role in the infrastructure of transnational crime. How to get to banking records, how to process them and how to find the story in them. Participants will receive banking records in order to identify crooked transactions. 

R - 1: Introduction to R (B), Hands-on**
Caelainn Barr and Karrie Kehoe
In the first class, R-1, we'll start from the basics. We'll get familiar with R and RStudio, import data and learn some basic functions for getting to grips with our dataset including sorting and filtering. This class assumes no prior experience with R.

R - 2:  Data Wrangling and Statistics in R (A), Hands-on**
Caelainn Barr and Karrie Kehoe
In R-2 we'll get down to some data wrangling and learn how join datasets and carry out calculations in R that will allow you to identify trends in the data for storytelling. We'll also look statistical functions in R and how to use ggplot2 for basic visual analysis.

R - 3:  Scraping and APIs in R (A), Hands-on**
Caelainn Barr and Karrie Kehoe
In the third and final class, R-3, we'll use R to scrape, clean and structure data from webpages and APIs. We'll also look at how to use R to convert, join and split difficult data files.

**If you are a complete beginner, these sessions will work best if you come to classes 1 to 3 as we will be building on knowledge and datasets from class to class. However if you have experience in R you are free to join classes 2 and/or 3.
 
SQL for journalists -1, Hands-On***
Crina Boros

What to do when Excel is not enough to crunch your data and hardcore coding is not your style? SQL is like Excel, but on steroids! The first of 3 workshops will introduce you to the lingua franca of programming and a popular relational database. We'll cover what it does; creating a database, importing a spreadsheet; and main SELECT STATEMENTS. Note: Familiarity with Excel is recommended for those wishing to attend.
 
​SQL for journalists - 2, Hands-On***
Crina Boros
We'll expand on the power of the Golden Query by introducing functions, filters and analysing data using code for reporting. We'll also start joining tables. Note: Familiarity with SQL Select Statements is necessary, and with Excel recommended for those wishing to attend. 
 
SQL for Journalists 3, Hands-On***
Crina Boros
Building on SQL 1 & 2, we'll make tables talk to each other, clean dirty data and update tables. Note: Familiarity with SQL Select Statements is necessary, and with Excel recommended for those wishing to attend.
 
*** Software requirements. SQL 
The classes will take place in a computer lab. But if you want to bring your own laptop, this is what you will need: 
Microsoft SQL Server Manager; Excel 2010 or newer; Notepad (classic, retro, free one for .txt)​
 

Tableau Data Viz 1
Sophie Sparkes and Florian Ramseger
Introduction to data journalism with Tableau Public:
- How to create simple charts (bar charts, line charts and maps)
- How to add simple interactivity to charts
- How to publish and embed visualization in your article
Bring own laptop. 
Please install Tableau Public prior to the start of the class.
https://public.tableau.com

 
Tableau Data Viz 2
More advance data journalism with Tableau Public:
- Data cleaning and data preparation in Tableau
- More advanced formatting of charts
- Designing charts for mobile
Bring own laptop.
Please install Tableau Public prior to the start of the class.
https://public.tableau.com.