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Published on August 11th, 2016 | by Gaelle Finley



Here’s an opportunity for the budding journalists among you. If you’ve ever thought of joining the Inside Handsworth team but felt that perhaps you didn’t have the right training, here is the perfect opportunity: two days’ free training in community investigative journalism. Don’t let that opportunity go by, as this may be your chance to become what you’ve always wanted to be, a valued voice in your community.

Taking investigative skills training out to those who need it most: the citizen journalists defending the public interest in our regional communities
The CIJ is currently implementing a series of free training workshops for independent community based journalism outlets. We hope this programme will support those taking on this role using donated funds and donated time. We aim to provide free training so that these donated funds can be used for other areas of support, and the donated time can be used in the most effective ways possible.
Through investigative training; advice and guidance in journalistic practice; and support in building regional networks and sustainable business models we aim to revive local and community based reporting to address the democratic deficit left by a decades-long decline in budgets, staff and overall plurality across the UK local media industry.
This new programme will strengthen capacity within these initiatives to gain access to information and investigate issues affecting their communities, and to share their findings in the public interest.
The CIJ hopes to bring expertise in investigative journalism to those working for and in defence of their local communities:
· to encourage greater government and corporate accountability at a local level
· to support democratic scrutiny
· and to reinforce civil society from the ground up
The first workshop will take place at Birmingham City University next week (17th & 18th Sept) and attendance is free. The schedule for the days is as follows –
  • Weds 17th
9:30-12:00 – Sustainable Community Journalism – Business models, building readership, recruiting and retaining contributors
Lunch Break
13:00-15:30 – Freedom of Information – How to get the most out of your FOI requests, appealing rejections, using FOI to access data sets (with plenty of chance for Q&As)
15:30-17:00 – Intro to Data Journalism – How and why to use data for finding stories, a preliminary look around Excel and the functions we’ll be using during Day 2
  • Thurs 18th
9:30-12:00 – Companies House – Understanding the CH website, what information it can (and can’t) provide
Lunch Break
13:00-13:45 – Data Case Studies – A look at some investigations using FOI and working with data
13:45-17:00 – Data Journalism tools – Cleaning, filtering and interrogating datasets (with plenty of chance to play around and get comfortable with data tools)
Attendance for Inside Handsworth contributors is free, but you must contact Tom Sanderson at the CIJ to register (

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