Despite the major upheavals and the challenges news organizations face in today’s market globally, the area of investigative reporting remains alive and strong. Journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean can learn about investigative journalism and its role in today’s digital landscape during the two-hour webinar entitled, “The Elements of Investigative Journalism: Principles and Practicalities,” that will be offered in English on Thursday, Nov. 29, by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.
The instructor of the webinar is Brant Houston. Houston is a Professor the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he teaches advanced reporting and oversees regional newsroom projects. He is co-founder of the Investigative News Network and the Global Investigative Journalism Network and serves on the boards of regional investigative journalism centers in the U.S. He has organized conferences and workshops in more than 20 countries and personally conducted more than 300 seminars for newsrooms and journalists. Houston has also co-authored two editions of the “Investigative Reporter’s Handbook” and is author of three editions of “Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide.”
Houston’s webinar will help attendees to learn the basic and proven concepts and methodologies for doing investigative journalism on any beat or topic. They will come way with new ways to choose investigations and how to carry them out, specifically with advice on how to use digital information and data analysis to give investigations more context and depth.
The number of participants is limited, and registration is taking place through this link. Registration will remain open until Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 12 p.m. (Austin time). Those who attend the webinar will need to pay a $30 administrative fee online. Those who participate in the webinar will receive a certificate from the Knight Center.
In today’s complicated digital landscape and competitive media market, knowing investigative reporting skills can make a big difference for journalists today and the communities they cover.
“The techniques of investigative journalism can be applied to almost any kind of story and so the general standards of reporting are rising,” Houston says. “Investigative journalism has always had a role as the research and development part of journalism because it tries out different approaches and borrows techniques from other professions. The public is realizing that investigative journalism is needed more than ever in societies that have leaders who think they can lie and mislead without accountability.”
A webinar works like an in-person seminar or presentation. The participants will be able to hear the instructor and watch on their computer screens a PowerPoint presentation and other visual materials and demonstrations. They will also be able to interact with the instructor via chat, asking questions or making comments. Participants need a broadband connection to the Internet and the use of headphones is highly recommended.
Before teaching at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Houston served as executive director of the nonprofit Investigative Reporters and Editors for more than decade where built up IRE’s training program and the data library of the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting. Houston was an award-winning investigative reporter at community and metropolitan newspapers for 17 years, often focusing on government agencies and programs and their regulation of business.