2016 NZCIJ Conference

Dear friends,

We invite you to join us for the third annual conference of the New Zealand Centre of Investigative Journalism at Massey University, Wellington on 9-10 July 2016.

Building on conferences from previous years, the event will be an opportunity to hear interesting speakers, learn new skills and meet and share ideas with a wide range of people interested in investigative journalism.

We’re pleased to announce our line-up of speakers at this year’s Centre for Investigative Journalism Conference:

  • Jane Patterson (RNZ) & Andrea Vance (TVNZ) on the challenges of collaboratively grappling with the large amount of data from the Panama Papers and translating it across radioTV and online stories.
  • Duncan Grieve & Alex Casey (The Spinoff) discuss the challenges and motivations behind ‘I Will Come Forward‘, plus the legal and editorial process to get the story published.
  • Abi King-Jones & Alister Barry on the practicalities, challenges and rewards of feature documentary-making within a journalistic context.
  • Tim McKinnel (Greenpeace) on what journalists can learn from NGO investigations.
  • Kirsty Johnston (NZ Herald) on investigating bureaucracy – understanding the psyche of a government department and using it to your advantage.
  • Blair Ensor & Katie Kenny (Fairfax) on the Faces of Innocents project: Creating the first known database of Kiwi kids to have died of neglect, abuse, or maltreatment since 1992, and giving them a voice.

By popular demand, we will be expanding our selection of skills-based workshops this year:

  • Matt Nippert (NZ Herald) will give a crash-course in how to actually follow the money by reading financial statements, sifting official records and building spreadsheets.
  • Harkanwal Singh (NZ Herald) will take you on a tour through New Zealand’s data landscape, with focus on analysing underlying data sets which (mis)inform press releases using simple tools, and the use of statistics as a science to inform stories.
  • James Hollings (Massey University) takes you through some of the tools available for searching online databases presented at the 2015 Global Investigative Journalism Network conference. These include Facebook graph searching, searching Twitter, and a tour of some of the resources and techniques used by investigative journalists.
  • Nicky Hager on source protection and other tricks of the trade.
  • Plus more to be announced!

We have three prices: $50 for waged, $25 for students and unwaged, and a corporate rate of $100.

The conference is open to all journalists, journalism students and teachers, and authors, film makers and others who are interested in or actively doing investigative journalism. Please spread the word to anyone you think may be interested. We want an event where participants feel comfortable talking freely so it is not aimed at people involved in party politics or public relations. Please check with us if you are unsure.

The full programme is available here, you can register here.

 

Kind regards,
Nicky Hager, Dr James Hollings, Keith Ng, Emily Menkes, Mava Moayyed

New Zealand Centre for Investigative Journalism

Programme for the 2015 Auckland NZCIJ event

Here’s the programme for the inaugural Auckland gathering of the NZCIJ, which happened on Saturday November 21, 2015 at AUT University.

11:15 Registration

12:00 Welcome

12:15 By the numbers – Prof Thomas Lumley
Every week on statschat.org.nz, Auckland University professor of biostatistics Thomas Lumley embarrasses journalists by picking apart stories based on their shonky interpretation of facts and figures. The material can be as disparate as junk surveys pitched to journos by PR companies, through to government accounts and data. Prof Lumley will talk to us about the commonest mistakes journalists make when they explain and interpret stats and how to avoid the pitfalls.

1:15 Going Native – Mihingarangi Forbes & Annabelle Lee-Harris
The Native Affairs reporting team had to make decisions and face challenges Pakeha journalists would not recognise when it broke the Kōhanga Reo National Trust story on Māori Television. Mihingarangi Forbes and Annabelle Lee-Harris talk about the pressure their team came under from their home marae, the cultural backlash they felt from the old guard of Māoridom, and the taboos they were said to have broken.

2:15 Afternoon tea break

3:00 How to go under cover legally – Helen Wild
What should journalists in print, radio and television consider when they want to do undercover work? Lawyer Helen Wild will help you traverse the complexities of covert filming/photography, door knocks, entering private property, hacking, tapping, or using illegally obtained information. If it goes south, how much fall-out will hit you, and how much will fall on the media organisation you work for? She’ll explore the issues around protecting sources, arguing public interest and the repercussions of not nailing down every legal step. Helen is a litigation lawyer with particular expertise in media law and managing complex litigation. Until recently she was Senior Counsel for TVNZ for 8 years.

4:00 Breakout Sessions

1. The OIA – Ben Thomas
The Official Information Act is a tremendous piece of legislation in principle – but those who handle journalists’ requests are becoming increasingly unprincipled. Ben Thomas, former press secretary to Chris Finlayson, will share insights into the way our requests are handled behind the closed doors of government. Ben was once a journalist, then became a press secretary and is now a public relations consultant. In each of these roles, he has made use of the Official Information Act. Ben’s perspective on the OIA takes in all three angles, giving him insight into how the act is used and where its strengths lie.

2. Amazing apps – Caleb Tutty
The internet is filled with amazing tools which add value to our reporting – if only we knew where to find them. The Herald’s Caleb Tutty will guide us through a bunch of apps simple enough for the most ham-fisted reporter to use for: ordering large piles of documents, analysing timelines, building data tables, recording mobile phone calls, and doing picture-based searches. Caleb will also point you to a web page full of useful links. Caleb is a senior news developer at the NZ Herald and part of its data journalism team.

4.40pm: Why it matters – Steve Braunias
Author, journalist, satirist and writer Steve Braunias spoke recently at a Wintec Press Club event about an “Age of Stupidity” settling across the media, and urged those who love journalism to fight against this dumbing down. We’ve asked him to follow this thread for the closing address at the inaugural Auckland gathering of the NZ Centre for Investigative Journalism. Steve writes for the New Zealand Herald, The Spinoff Review of Books and is the author of seven books including The Scene of the Crime, which has just been released.

5.20pm: Time for a drink

Registrations are now closed.

Venue details

Date: Saturday November 21, 2015
Time: 12pm-5.30pm (Registration opens at 11.15am)
Where: Registration is at AUT University’s Media Centre, which is on Level 5 of the Sir Paul Reeves Building (aka WG) on Governor Fitzroy Place, Auckland. Sessions will be held in a lecture theatre (we’ll point you in the right direction after you’ve registered on the day).
 Map: Here’s the building on a Google map.

Map: And here’s the building on a campus map:
AUT Campus Map
Parking: Two nearby parking buildings are the Civic and Wilson Parking on Wakefield Street.
Other travel: Try Auckland Transport’s Bus-Train-Ferry page.
Questions & Cancellations: Drop Julie a line.

 

The inaugural Auckland gathering of NZCIJ

Dear journalists and those who love journalism,

You are invited to the inaugural Auckland gathering of the New Zealand Centre for Investigative Journalism at AUT University’s Media Centre on Saturday November 21, 2015.

The Auckland event will offer a short, punchy serving of journalism that will run from 12pm through to 5.30pm, at which time those attending will be invited to gather for a few drinks nearby.

The gathering builds on the two excellent annual conferences run by Nicky Hager, Keith Ng and Dr James Hollings. Like those events, the Auckland chapter will offer the chance to learn new skills and share ideas with those interested in investigative journalism.

The speakers include:

  • Mihingarangi Forbes and Annabelle Lee-Harris on the challenges posed reporting on spending allegations at the Kōhanga Reo National Trust while working for Māori Television’s Native Affairs;
  • University of Auckland statistics professor Thomas Lumley on the way journalists handle numbers and the awful errors we have made;
  • Media lawyer Helen Wild on covert reporting – the legal pitfalls, ethical dangers and how to operate safely undercover;
  • An insider’s lessons on the Official Information Act – how to phrase requests to get what you need, and what to look for when you think you’re being fooled;
  • NZ Herald data programmer Caleb Tutty on the amazing apps for crunching data, recording calls and interrogating information dumps that can take your reporting to a new level.

We also plan on having a special guest speaker who will talk about why investigative journalism matters.

Registrations are now open. We’re seeking $20 from those who are working and $5 from those who are not, simply to cover costs.

The gathering is open to all journalists, journalism students and teachers, authors, film-makers and others interested in or actively doing investigative journalism. Please spread the word to those you think may be interested.

Put the date in your diary and register now.

Regards,

David Fisher, Donna Chisholm, Sharon Fergusson, Julie Starr and Greg Treadwell – The Auckland chapter organisers

Venue details

Date: Saturday November 21, 2015
Time: 12pm-5.30pm (Registration opens at 11.15am)
Where: AUT University Media Centre, Level 5, Sir Paul Reeves Building (aka WG), Governor Fitzroy Place, Auckland.
Map: Here’s the building on a Google map.
Map of Sir Paul Reeves Building
Parking: Two nearby parking buildings are the Civic and Wilson Parking on Wakefield Street.
Other travel: Try Auckland Transport’s Bus-Train-Ferry page.
Questions & Cancellations: Drop Julie a line.

 

2015 Conference

Dear friends,

We invite you to join us for the second annual conference of the New Zealand Centre of Investigative Journalism at Massey University, Wellington on 11-12 July 2015.

Building on last year’s conference, the event will be an opportunity to hear interesting speakers, learn new skills and meet and share ideas with a wide range of people interested in investigative journalism.

The speakers include:

  • Private investigator and former police officer John Gualter, on interviewing and investigative research methods
  • North & South editor-at-large Donna Chisholm and senior writer Mike White on investigating miscarriage of justice cases and writing the long-form feature
  • Herald reporter David Fisher on practical skills they use in their investigations
  • Nicky Hager, on the lessons he learned researching the book Dirty Politics and the New Zealand Snowden documents.

We’ll also have experts in cyber-security, plus other speakers to be confirmed.

Registrations are now open, again with deliberately low prices to ensure money doesn’t get in the way of you coming. We have three prices: $40 for waged people, $20 for students and unwaged people, and, as proposed by participants last year, a news organisation rate of $80 for people whose workplaces are paying.

The conference is open to all journalists, journalism students and teachers, and authors, film makers and others who are interested in or actively doing investigative journalism. Please spread the word to anyone you think may be interested. We want an event where participants feel comfortable talking freely so it is not aimed at people involved in party politics or public relations. Please check with us if you are unsure.

We will send an update with more information later. We are planning a programme which is a combination of interesting speakers, opportunities for participants to met each other and discuss their work, and specific investigative skills sessions. if you have any suggestions for sessions, please let us know.

In the meantime, put the date in your diary, forward this e-mail to friends and colleagues, and register now by clicking on this link.

 

Kind regards,

Nicky Hager, Dr James Hollings, Keith Ng
New Zealand Centre for Investigative Journalism

Welcome

Welcome to the New Zealand Centre for Investigative Journalism. We are one of a growing number of investigative journalism centres around the world.

The Centre exists to encourage and support New Zealanders who are doing or would like to do investigative journalism.

We invite you to our first conference on 28 and 29 June 2014. Full details and programme are now posted. Register now. You can pay at https://www.givealittle.co.nz/org/nzcij/.