The digital era has transformed investigative journalism. As information has become more easily accessible, holding the powerful to account is no longer a task restricted to reporters in newsrooms. A generation of 'citizen journalists' is now breaking major scoops across the globe, many equipped with no more than a laptop and a nose for a story.
In this intensive, weekend course, two of the UK's leading investigative journalists will give students the skills needed to reach the next step.
Paul Lewis and Heather Brooke will teach the secrets of their trade in a series of interactive workshops and skill-based sessions. Two previous dates for the course were sold out, with the programme proving useful to journalists looking to sharpen their tools, as well as curious amateurs, lawyers, regulators, investigators, bloggers, press officers and campaigners.
With an emphasis on the practical, students will learn about the options available to them when trying to discover what corporations, governments and elites would prefer them not to know. The weekend includes the staples of investigative journalism: deciphering company accounts; locating people; cultivating sources; cutting through spin; and convincing people to talk. There will be in-depth workshops on how to use the Freedom of Information Act and lesser-known legislation to unlock bureaucracies, alongside advice on how to mount a successful campaign and bring about change.
Whether it is simple advice on data journalism, or an insider-guide to using social media and crowd sourcing, the course will reveal how new technology and recent innovations have revolutionised investigative journalism.
The Guardian's special projects editor, Paul Lewis is the award-winning journalist behind recent scoops revealing the life of undercover police officer Mark Kennedy and the death of newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson. He received widespread acclaim for his use of Twitter in coverage of the recent England riots. Currently heading a unit tasked with finding innovative ways of using social media and crowd-sourcing, Lewis joined the newspaper six years ago, quickly establishing himself as one of Fleet Street's most tenacious reporters. Recent awards include the Bevins prize for investigative journalism and the prestigious title of reporter of the year, which he won at the British Press Awards 2010. In 2007 he worked at the Washington Post as a Stern Fellow.
Heather Brooke is an award-winning writer, journalist and activist. Her unprecedented five-year campaign for the full disclosure of MPs' expenses led to full-scale reform of the parliamentary expense system and her story was made into a BBC drama called On Expenses. She is a visiting professor at City University's department of journalism and has written for all the main national newspapers as well presenting and consulting for Channel 4's Dispatches. She is the author of Your Right to Know (Pluto Press) and The Silent State (Heinemann). She is currently working on her latest book, The Revolution will be Digitised, which focuses on the ways the internet is transforming society. As a result of this research she was able to obtain a leak out of Wikileaks for the full batch of 251,287 US diplomatic cables.
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.