Feb 2-3 2013
Investigative journalism at The Guardian

David Leigh. Photo: Graham Turner for the Guardian

This is an intensive course, for anyone interested in holding the powerful to account.

Participants will learn some of the secrets of investigative reporting from an impressive line-up of seven of the most accomplished journalists in the industry.

The weekend of workshops and keynote talks has been carefully curated to give a combination of practical advice and inspiration to anyone interested in ‘digging’.

This new course covers the core of investigative reporting: understanding the freedom of information act; cultivating sources; searching company accounts; overcoming libel law; cutting through spin and convincing people to talk.

However the programme places an emphasis on journalism in the digital age. As such, students will learn directly from some of today’s pioneers in advanced web searching, data journalism and using social media crowdsourcing.

This course caters for all levels of ability. Previously, similar classes have proved hugely popular, among both journalists looking update their skills and lawyers, charity workers, students, regulators, bloggers, press officers and campaigners.

Tutor Profiles

Paul Lewis is the Guardian’s special projects editor and 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.

Paul Myers first used the Internet in 1978 and has been using the Web since 1993. He became a news information researcher in 1995, and has been involved in journalism training since 1999. Blending his previous career as a computer operator and programmer with the world of journalism, Paul pioneered many of the online research techniques that are now commonplace in the media. He is always developing new strategies to cope with the changing digital landscape. Paul continues to work closely with investigative, current affairs, news and consumer programmes on TV & radio. He combines his time with training, consultancy and web design. Paul runs the Research Clinic website which contains his tools, links and study material.

Clare Sambrook won the 2010 Paul Foot Award and Bevins Prize for exposing the government’s suppression of medical evidence that children were being harmed in immigration detention. She is a co-editor of OurKingdom, the UK arm of openDemocracy, and co-founder of the End Child Detention Now campaign. Her acclaimed debut novel, Hide & Seek, now in 13 languages, is a New York Times editor’s choice.

Helen Darbishire is a human rights activist specialising in the public’s right of access to information (freedom of information), and the development of open and democratic societies with participatory and accountable governments. Helen is founder and Executive Director of the Madrid-based NGO Access Info Europe, established in 2006 to promote the right of access to information in Europe and globally. Helen has provided expertise to a wide range of non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, including UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the World Bank. She is a founder of the global Freedom of Information Advocates Network and served two terms as its chair.

James Ball is a journalist at the Guardian working on investigative and data-driven reporting. He was on the core reporting team of the Guardian’s Offshore Secrets, Guantanamo Files, and award-winning Reading the Riots projects. Prior to joining the Guardian, he worked at WikiLeaks and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. He was the Laurence Stern fellow at the Washington Post in 2012.

Speaker Profiles

David Leigh is one of Britain’s leading investigative journalists, and winner of the 2007 Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism. David is Assistant Editor at The Guardian, with special responsibility for investigations. He has also worked in London at the Observer, where he ran an investigation team, and at The Times. He has won seven press awards, including Granada’s Investigative Journalist of the Year, the British Press Awards Campaigning Journalist of the Year, and an award from the UK Freedom of Information Campaign. In 2006 he was Highly Commended for investigations into alleged corruption at BAE Systems. His books include The Liar (an account of the Jonathan Aitken affair); Sleaze (the story of the Neil Hamilton case) and a book campaigning for freedom of information legislation.

Roy Greenslade is Professor of Journalism at City University London, writes a daily blog about the media for The Guardian and is the media columnist for the London Evening Standard. He has been a journalist for 48 years and occupied senior positions at several national titles. He was editor of the Daily Mirror (1990-91). He is the author of a history of British newspapers, Press Gang.

To book

Click here to buy tickets online.


Dates: Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 February 2013
Times: 10am-5.30pm
Location: The Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU
Price: £500 (inclusive of VAT, booking fees, lunch and refreshments)
Student Price: £450 (ten student discount tickets available. Students must send a scan of their valid NUS student ID to qualify for discount to masterclasses@guardian.co.uk)
Maximum class size: 18 (except during key note talks where 36)

To contact us, click here. Terms and conditions can be found here.