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Columbia Journalism School

Summer Investigative Reporting Course

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Description

The course covers the fundamentals of investigative reporting including:

  • the methodology for developing story ideas and launching a project
  • the criteria for testing a hypothesis
  • how to find documents and data internationally to support the reporting
  • understanding and utilizing financial documents
  • varied methods for interviewing sources
  • ethically sourcing information
  • structuring an investigative project
  • writing the longform narrative

Throughout the program, faculty provide instruction on using digital tools for researching and finding sources including:

  • where to find data and how to acquire, clean and analyze it
  • using data to create a framework for a project
  • reporting the narrative around the data
  • making it visual and useable to readers

Another critical component of the program is exploring how journalists can collaborate with media partners to build strong coalitions and stories with wider impact.

Participants are urged to arrive with ideas for stories they can start or continue when they return to the workplace, using skills they learn throughout the course lectures. Participants are encouraged to work with colleagues in the course on strategies for how to report their stories, find potential sources and ways to develop the project.

A strong competence in spoken and written English is required. This workshop is not for beginners. It requires that participants have an extensive background in journalism. Participants should arrive with advanced skills in Excel and other database management programs to better utilize the data training.

Experts

Ernest R. Sotomayor is Dean of Student Affairs, with oversight of Student Services and Career Services and Director of Latin American Initiatives Sotomayor began his career at Columbia as Director of Career Services in February 2005, overseeing career counseling, assisting students them in find...
Sheila Coronel began reporting in the Philippines during the twilight of the Marcos dictatorship, when she wrote for the underground opposition press and later for mainstream magazines and newspapers. As Marcos lost power and press restrictions eased, she reported on human rights abuses, the grow...
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