Mainstream journalism is a bit like a sausage. It’s consumable, but if you knew how they made it you wouldn’t swallow it.
And then there’s independent media… which is obviously delicious, all the time, and much from quality ingredients by dirt poor but ethically rich people… which begs a series of very important questions.
Have you ever wondered how to hunt a politician out of a political party after he sexually assaulted a staffer? Or sneak into another country to expose the dodgy dealings of a global corporation? Or expose a serial sexual harasser who claims to be the inspiration for a popular ABC television series? Or shine a bit of light on an international spy ring run by a Kazahkstan oligarch? And then get yourself threatened with contempt of court proceedings in the High Court of England and Wales in the process?
Ever wanted to learn how to catch out a ‘clinical psychologist’ who isn’t really a ‘clinical psychologist’? Or maybe embarrass a Prime Minister because his daughter got a secret $60,000 scholarship while he was hiking up uni fees for everyone else? Expose bad media behaviour from a national broadcaster? Twice. Get your house raided by the federal police?
Well, all those questions and more are set to be answered in June and July, in a beautiful Queensland tropical location. New Matilda has joined forces with our friends over at Global Hobo, to bring you an independent media first – an Investigative Journalism Workshop on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) in Queensland (which is where New Matilda is based some of the year).
The 7-day course is geared towards journalists and writers looking to build their skills in long-form and investigative journalism. You don’t have to be an established or working journalist, but you do need to have a basic understanding of the craft.
The course would suit, for example, citizen journalists who want to learn the tricks of the trade, or reporters with a few years under their belt who want to know how to punch harder, and higher.
The workshop is guaranteed to be as intense AF, but by the end of it, you’ll walk away with a much deeper understanding of how to make much bigger news, without going to jail in the process. Well, maybe with a better chance of not going to jail.
Global Hobo’s reputation is an excellent one. They’ve been conducting journalism, travel and writing workshops for years (you can read some testimonials here. Refreshingly, they’re from real, verifiable people, and notably, they’re all five stars).
Gemma Clarke from Global Hobo and audio engineer Eugene Yang are delivering the course. And of course New Matilda’s very own Chris Graham will be along for the ride as well. Chris is a multiple Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist, with more than three decades experience. He specialises in investigative and long-form journalism (his last piece for New Matilda was 13,000 words), and he has a particular interest in Indigenous affairs and ‘big data’.
You can get all the details and book your place by clicking here (spots for the June-July workshop are very limited, so be quick… or maybe clear your schedule and get in early for the October workshop). You can read on for more details below.
Investigative Journalism Workshop – North Stradbroke Island: June 27-July 4; October 17 – 24, 2021
Fringed by mangroves and sparkling surf, dotted with coastal shacks and enveloped in greenery, Minjerribah – also known as North Stradbroke Island – is a leisurely ferry ride from just near Brisbane. This is Quandamooka Country, home to its Traditional Custodians for more than 21,000 years.
For a week, you’ll live with a collective of other writers in a funky villa just metres from the beach. Each day, a dedicated team of editors and journalists will take you through thoughtfully crafted coursework and will help you write and pitch your own story. Whereas our Freelance and Travel Writing workshops see us teach aspiring writers the ins and outs of becoming a freelance copywriter and journalist in Byron Bay and Cairns, our Investigative Journalism Workshop is geared towards those looking to build on their skills in long-form and investigative journalism – both written and podcast.
What We Cover
Often, the main conundrum stumping writers is what the hell to write about. One of the core goals of journalism is to hold those in power accountable, so that’s where we begin: looking at how people are using and abusing power, how to uncover facts the public should know about but don’t, and how to write about it in a compelling and ethical way.
Other topics covered will include obtaining and analysing data, finding and managing sources, interviewing, navigating freedom of information, angles, sensitivity reading (and writing about stories that aren’t yours), pitching to editors, useful software and resources, and workflow.
Audio storytelling and broadcast journalism will also be a major component of the program. We’ll equip you with all the knowledge and skills required to start your first podcast and tell stories using sound, from working out your direction and finding good places to record, to interview techniques and using audio production software.
Most importantly, while you’re on the island with us, we’ll be providing you with scaffolding and assistance to research and write your own long-form feature, with the goal of getting it published (on New Matilda or the publication of your choice). This may be done in small groups depending on the density of the research and work required.
What You Get
- Daily research, writing, editing and podcasting workshops
- One-on-one assistance writing your own story
- Ferry collection from Amity Point (or you can drive your own vehicle if you’re feeling particularly adventurous). You also might be able to twist our arms to do airport pick up and drop off from the Gold Coast or Brisbane if you need to fly in.
- Seven nights accommodation in a beautiful villa walking distance from shops and the beach, complete with a balcony, kitchen, laundry and WiFi
- 24-hour support, care and mentoring
Gemma Clarke is the founding editor of Global Hobo and Anaerkillik. Having formerly worked as the production editor of the triple j Annual and Your Friend’s House, she’s been in the big bad world of media for the past 13 years. Gem has written about the refugee experience in Greece, CSG-affected farmers in rural Queensland and government corruption in the Philippines, with bylines ranging from News.com.au to New Matilda. Right now, she’s co-hosting a breakfast radio show on Bay FM and working on a podcast that challenges gender roles. Outside of writing, she loves going on road trips, making playlists and sleeping in.
Chris Graham is the editor of New Matilda and the former founding editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. He’s won a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. In a media career spanning three decades, Chris’ home has been raided by police, he’s fended off innumerable lawsuits and has been threatened with jail in Australia and the UK. He finally achieved that dream with a brief stint in an Israeli prison in 2018. Chris splits his time between Minjerribah, where New Matilda is based, and the mainland (mostly Outback NSW), and has been described by Gemma as “highly excitable”.
Eugene Yang is a writer, reporter and audio maker. His reporting and fiction have been published by The Feed, Peril Magazine, Mous Magazine, and the ABC, and his podcast stories have featured on All the Best. He is currently undertaking a PhD about narrative podcasting and its role in Australia’s racist media landscape, while also working as an Audio Engineer at Litmus Media.
A deposit will be due within two weeks of your selection in order to confirm your place, but the remainder will not be due until six weeks before the program starts. Payment plans are also available upon inquiry.
Dates and Availability
• June 27 – July 4, 2021 (limited spaces available)
• October 17 – 24, 2021
Donate To New Matilda
New Matilda is a small, independent media outlet. We survive through reader contributions, and never losing a lawsuit. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue speaking truth to power. Every little bit counts.