Columbia Journalism School

Summer Investigative Reporting Workshop, NYC

Summer Investigative Reporting Workshop, NYC

Over three weeks, participants in all media platforms examine what investigative journalism is and how to conceive, research and write such stories. The process involves recognizing when something should be a long-term project, basic criteria for launching into the story, testing and retesting the hypothesis throughout the investigation, and shifting direction when the reporting dictates that the story direction has changed. In this course students will be asked in think about possible investigative projects they want to work on upon their return to the workplace, using the lessons learned during the course. Workshops will be taught on creating databases, retrieving data from outside sources, locating and using public records in different parts of the world, utilizing financial documents, interviewing techniques, how to structure an investigative story, using multimedia to support projects, writing and editing a long-form narrative, and more.

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Our Program

This global program, now in its fifth year, is for journalists reporting the stories and editors managing the story projects. Instruction will include workshops during the course intended specifically for journalists who are editors of projects and investigative reporting teams, and who want to learn more about managing the process. Instruction in this course is also intended to be used by journalists in any beat in their everyday reporting. Join journalists who have come from virtually every continent to study at the Columbia Journalism School.


Sheila Coronel, Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism; Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, and Dean of Academic Affairs

Sheila began her reporting career in 1982, when she joined the staff of Philippine Panorama, a widely read magazine. As Ferdinand Marcos gradually lost political power, Sheila reported on human rights abuses, the growing democratic movement, and the election of Corazon Aquino as president. She later joined the staff of The Manila Times as a political reporter, and also wrote special reports for The Manila Chronicle. As a stringer for The New York Times and the Guardian (London), she covered seven attempted coups d'etat against the Aquino government.

In 1989, Sheila and her colleagues founded the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) to promote investigative reporting. The PCIJ trains journalists in investigative skills, and has provided an environment for in-depth, groundbreaking reporting. The Center has investigated and reported on major social issues including the military, poverty, and corruption. Under Sheila's leadership, the Center became the premier investigative reporting institution in the Philippines and Asia.

Sheila is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including "Coups, Cults & Cannibals," a collection of reportage; "The Rulemakers: How the wealthy and well-born dominate Congress;" and "Pork and other Perks: Corruption and Governance in the Philippines."  She has received numerous awards and widespread recognition of her work.

She received an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of the Philippines, and a masters in political sociology from the London School of Economics.



Ernest Sotomayor, Dean of Students and Director, Latin American Initiatives

Ernest R. Sotomayor is director of the Summer Investigative Reporting Course, and also oversees Student Services and Career Services at the Journalism School. He oversees professional development programs held in New York City and worldwide on investigative journalism.

He previously was Assistant Dean for Career Services, joining Columbia Journalism School in 2005. Sotomayor oversaw career counseling of all degree students at the school, assisting them in finding opportunities such as internships, fellowships and fulltime employment in print, broadcast and online media fields, developing a yearlong curriculum of job hunting strategies and special workshop programs.

He is an adjunct professor in the school’s core required Reporting Course, and has taught in Digital Media Newsroom, teaching students how to use multimedia elements such as video, audio slideshows and Flash graphics to accompany their text stories. Sotomayor also serves on administrative and faculty advisory and curricular review panels, including the Committees on Instruction, Strategic Planning, Academic Affairs and Admissions.

Sotomayor began his career as reporter at the El Paso (Texas) Herald-Post in 1976, and in 1979 joined the Dallas Times Herald, where he worked as a reporter and editor. Ernest joined New York Newsday in 1989 and was Brooklyn/Queens Editor. He later served as Newsday's Long Island regionals editor, deputy business editor and Long Island editor for


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