Managing student investigations

  • Event: 2017 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Heather Brooke of City University of London; Giannina Segnini Picado of Columbia Journalism School; Brant Houston of University of Illinois; Walter Robinson of The Boston Globe
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 23 at 9:00am
  • Location: Grand Canyon 9-10
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

**Moderated by Heather Brooke, City University of London

Taking students from absolute beginner to an advanced investigation is an intense learning process for all involved. Three investigative journalists who teach graduate and undergraduate investigative journalism courses will discuss the process and show examples of student investigations. We’ll discuss how to mentor students through tricky logistical, legal and ethical issues, how to handle problems that can arise from student investigations and how best to solve them. Teaching the next generation of investigative journalists is crucial to pass on the skills necessary to produce in-depth, challenging reporting. As newsrooms cut experienced staff, universities are becoming the place where students increasingly go to find these skills.

Speaker Bios

  • Heather runs the MA Investigative Journalism course at City University. She is best known for her investigation and legal case exposing the British parliamentary expenses scandal for which she won the Judges' Prize at the 2010 British Press Awards, the FOI Award from IRE, and a Freedom of Expression Award from Index on Censorship. She has written three books: Your Right to Know, The Silent State, and The Revolution Will Be Digitised.

  • Brant Houston is the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois. Before Illinois he was executive director of IRE for more than a decade after 17 years as an award-winning investigative reporter in U.S. newsrooms. He is author of  "Data for Journalists: A Practical Guide to Computer-Assisted Reporting" and co-author of "The Investigative Reporter's Handbook." He works with nonprofit newsrooms and co-founded INN and GIJN. 

  • Walter V. Robinson is the former editor of the Globe Spotlight Team, which won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for exposing the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal. He has been city editor, metro editor, national political reporter, White House correspondent and Middle East Bureau Chief. He is now the Globe's Editor At Large. He has been a journalism professor at Northeastern University and is now the Donald W. Reynolds Professor at the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State, where he teaches investigative reporting. @WalterVRobinson.

  • Giannina Segnini is the director of the Data Journalism Degree at Columbia University in New York City. She also oversees the Cross-border Data Investigative Fellowship at the J-School, an initiative to investigate organized crime and corruption across borders using data. Segnini is an investigative journalist from Costa Rica, where she used to lead a team of reporters that triggered more than 50 criminal investigations after their revelations.

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