investigative journalism

With redundancies, cost-cutting, and an increasing number of journalists going freelance, young journalists are often not getting the opportunity to develop their investigative skills. This course aims to equip you with the online and offline skills required to unearth stories.

Led by freelance journalist Lyra McKee, this workshop will teach you everything from "shoe leather" reporting techniques – how to identify and cultivate relationships with sources and ask the right questions – to digital age techniques, like those used by law enforcement investigators to crack cases, and the effective use of public records laws like the Freedom of Information Act.

As with all training, the emphasis is on practical, hands-on learning. The training takes place at The Bridge, near London Bridge, and refreshments and a buffet lunch will be provided.

Some of what you’ll learn:

  • How to effectively interview sources ;

  • How to use public records laws and public databases to uncover the information you need;

  • Online tools and techniques for building profiles of individuals;

  • How to protect your sources in the age of surveillance;

  • Techniques used by law enforcement investigators to uncover information on the web.


A background in journalism is helpful though the course is open to those still considering it as a potential career or working in related fields as a researcher.

What you’ll need

A laptop is essential – notepad and pen recommended.

Getting there

This course will be held at The Bridge, 73-81 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 0NQ.

About Lyra McKee

Lyra McKee is a Belfast-based freelance journalist. She has been published in various outlets, from BuzzFeed News to The Independent and The Atlantic and has broken numerous stories, ranging from the incompetence of government agencies to allegations of sexual assault levelled against Northern Ireland police officers.

She has been recognised for her work, being named Sky News Young Journalist of the Year in 2006. In 2016, Forbes Magazine named her one of their 30 under 30 in media in Europe. She has delivered training to newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Sun. She is represented by Janklow & Nesbit literary agency and is in the process of trying to get her first book published. She is also an editor at Silicon Valley-based media news site Mediagazer.