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Knight Center Announces Free Online Investigative Journalism Class

knight invest. journo post picIf you’ve ever wanted to learn the nuts and bolts of investigative reporting, here’s your chance, courtesy of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

A five-week, massive open online course (MOOC) on “Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age,” will begin on May 12 and end on June 14, 2014.

A MOOC is a new type of online learning program that was designed to reach a large number of students. In general, most MOOCs are college courses that have been recorded on video and adapted to be shared over the Internet.

This free course, designed to help teach about the newest resources and techniques in the field is open to journalists, journalism professors and journalism students alike and will be taught by four of the best investigative reporters in the country:


Brant Houston
, former executive director of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors) and currently a professor and Knight Chair in Investigative Journalism at the University of Illinois; Steve Doig, a veteran investigative journalism and data journalism pioneer, currently a professor and Knight Chair at Arizona State University; Lise Olsen, a veteran journalism trainer, currently investigative reporter at Houston Chronicle; and Michael Berens, an investigative reporter for The Seattle Times.

Investigative journalism is arguably one of the most important segments of the profession, often helping uncover corruption, spotlighting social plights, influencing public policy and effecting change. It takes perseverance, but also an understanding of basic concepts and tools used to carry out investigations.

The course will follow the multiple-instructor format, pioneered by the Knight Center’s MOOC program, whereby each week of the course will be taught by a different instructor, each one a leading authority in the field of investigative journalism. The topics covered will include everything from basic steps of an investigation to the writing and presentation of the story.

“We at the Knight Center are happy to launch our first massive online course on investigative journalism. In the last decade we have worked a lot with investigative journalism in the Americas, but with this MOOC we have the opportunity to extend the training to many places around the world,” said professor Rosental Alves, founder and director of the Knight Center.

“This is a great opportunity for people from around the world to learn the basics of investigative reporting, no matter what level of experience or skills you have now,” instructor Brant Houston said. “We will cover from start to finish, how to conceive and carry out an investigative story.”

Students will learn general concepts about conducting journalistic investigations, examples of small and large investigative stories, navigating through institutional structures to find sources, cultivating sources, finding databases and documents, analyzing and visualizing data, using information found on social media, and general considerations about presenting the story, ethics and fairness.

In addition, students who satisfactorily complete the course are eligible to receive a certificate of completion for a nominal fee.

To register for the course, click here.

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