Course Structure

Offline workshop, Belgrade -  December 10-11, 2019

Main goals of the offline workshop:

  • Introduction to the main topics, goals, outcomes of the course;
  • Introduction and networking of course participants; form cross-border working groups, brainstorm on cross border investigative topics for research;
  • Introduction to preparing cross-border investigative stories in the digital age with special focus on open source research techniques, integrating data, technology and innovative storytelling;
  • Discussing next steps, logistics.

Time

Day 1.

Day 2.

Session 1.

(9.00-10.30)

Welcome, intro, networking, expectations, course overview, discussion

M1U4 Recap of Day 1, Intro of Day 2. M1U4 Open source and social media research in the Western Balkans region

Session 2.

(11.00-12.30)

M1U1 Setting up and managing cross-border investigations

 

M1U5 Applying open source research techniques - individual and group assignments, discussion

Session 3.

(13.30-15.00)

M1U2 Group assignment on setting up cross border investigations, developing group ideas, discussion

M1U6 Innovative storytelling techniques, integrating data, technology and multimedia

Session 4.

(15.30-17.00)

M1U3: Innovative open source research techniques

Discussing next steps, online course logistics, evaluation, closing

Module 1: Developing innovative cross-border investigative stories (crash course)

Unit 1. Setting up and managing cross-border investigations

Examining the specific requirements and characteristics of cross-border investigations, hands-on tips on managing collaborations, choosing initial story ideas, utilizing network of sources, challenges of cross-border fact-checking, adapting findings to different audiences and media styles, integrating data and technology, legal and security considerations for a cross-border team.

Unit 2. Group assignment on setting up cross border investigations, developing group ideas, discussion

A hands-on group challenge on developing cross-border investigative story ideas integrating technology. Discussion, group formation and setting up plans for investigative stories.

Unit 3. Innovative open source research techniques

From tracking boats and private planes to forensic analysis of video footages: introduction to the latest and most advanced open source techniques with specific examples, good practices.

Unit 4. Open source research in the Western Balkans region

Examining the specific opportunities and challenges of open source investigation including research in public databases in the Western Balkans region with case studies, best practices and useful tips.

Unit 5. Applying open source research techniques - individual and group assignments, discussion

Individual and group exercises to apply open source and social media research techniques.

Unit 6. Innovative storytelling techniques, integrating data, technology and multimedia

Exploring through specific examples, case studies the good practices on how innovative, multimedia storytelling techniques support investigative stories, tips on integrating data, technology and multimedia from idea conception to narrative development.  

Online course starting from January, 2020

Week

Online session 1.

Online session 2.

Week 2.

M2U7 Advanced social media research

M2U8 Verification of sources and documents

Week 3.

M2U9 Coaching and consultation session

M3U10 Investigative journalism ethics challenges, with special focus on digital aspects

Week 4.

M3U11 Investigative journalism legal challenges in the Western Balkans

M3U12 Minimizing risks by increasing digital and physical security

Week 5.

M3U13 Coaching and consultation session

M4U14 Dealing with human  sources

Week 6.

M4U15 Coaching and consultation session

M5U16 Collecting, organizing, assessing data and information, building collaborative databases

Week 7.

M617 Data for investigative stories, data visualization

M618 Building narratives, storytelling techniques, presenting investigative stories, multimedia storytelling

Week 8.

M619  Coaching and consultation session

Closing discussion, lessons learnt

Module 2: Advanced research and verification techniques

Unit 7. Advanced social media research

Deepening knowledge of open source research techniques with special focus on social media research techniques. Video tutorial with presentation, tip-sheets,  case studies, further reading, individual and group assignments. Home assignments.

Unit 8. Verification of sources and documents

Learning verification techniques to discover the background of sources, documents, user-generated online information, images, verification processes, checklists. Video tutorial with presentation, tip-sheets,  case studies, further reading, individual and group assignments. Home assignments.

Unit 9. Coaching and consultation session

Structured consultation session with discussion and evaluation of home assignment, consultation on specific open source, social media research and verification challenges for participants` cross-border topics.

Module 3: Minimizing risks through managing ethics and security challenges

Unit 10. Investigative journalism ethics challenges threats

Introduction to specificities of investigative journalism ethics, applying journalism ethical standards to investigative reporting challenges from anonymous sources to undercover reporting, minimizing risks through ethical standards. Video tutorial with presentation, tip-sheets,  case studies, further reading, individual and group assignments.  Home assignments.

Unit 11. Investigative journalism legal challenges

Introduction to the specific legal challenges faced by investigative journalists in the region, cases, lessons learnt, editorial process best practices to minimize risks. Video tutorial with presentation, tip-sheets, case studies, further reading.

Unit 12. Minimizing risks by increasing security

Assessing the specific security challenges with main focus on physical security of investigative reporting. Special focus on existing tools and techniques to minimize risks. Video tutorial with presentation, tip-sheets, case studies, further reading, individual and group assignments. Home assignments

Unit 13. Coaching and consultation session

Structured consultation session with discussion and evaluation of home assignment, consultation on specific verification challenges for participants` cross-border topics.

Module 4. Dealing with human sources

Unit 14. Specific challenges with confidential human sources

Defining the nature and characteristics of confidential human sources, exploring the specific challenges of dealing with human sources with special focus on how to find them, make them speak, how to conduct investigative interviews with human sources. Video tutorial with presentation, tip-sheets,  case studies, further reading, individual and group assignments. Home assignments.

Unit 15. Coaching and consultation session

Structured consultation session with discussion and evaluation of home assignment, consultation on specific challenges for participants` cross-border topics.

Module 5. Shaping investigative narratives

Unit 16. Making sense of research data

Introduction on how cross-border teams can best collect, organize, assess data and information acquired during research phase, building collaborative databases, tools and techniques for collaboration and tips. Video tutorial with presentation, tip-sheets,  case studies, further reading, individual and group assignments. Home assignments.

Unit 17. Data for investigative stories, data visualization

Introduction on how to leverage data for investigative stories with special focus on visualization techniques. Video tutorial with presentation, tip-sheets,  case studies, further reading, individual and group assignments. Home assignments.

Unit 18. Storytelling

Exploring how to build narratives of complex investigations, discovering traditional storytelling techniques and special aspects of multimedia narratives. Video tutorial with presentation, tip-sheets,  case studies, further reading, individual and group assignments. Home assignments.

Unit 19. Coaching and consultation session

Structured consultation session with discussion and evaluation of home assignment, consultation on specific challenges for participants` cross-border topics.

Closing discussion, lessons learnt

Final online discussion with all participants on course evaluation, lessons learnt and next steps for group challenges, story grants etc.

(Program is subject to changes.)