Bournemouth MS

Duncan's Bournemouth University profile

Before Julian Assange of Wikileaks was imprisoned this month, the last time a journalist was jailed without trial in Britain when trying to publish stories governments didn’t want you to hear or read what they had to say was 34 years ago.


Duncan Campbell and his Time Out colleague Crispin Aubrey were arrested in north London in January 1977 for talking to a former soldier about intelligence operations in the Middle East. Their trial under Britain’s notorious Official Secrets Act led to their walking free and the eventual repeal of the laws used against them.


Duncan Campbell will describe 35 years experience of controversial and difficult investigative reporting: from being arrested in 1977 and accused of being a spy for joining public facts together to write stories, to taking part in the world’s largest collaborative cross-border network of investigative journalists in 2010, exposing international criminal conspiracies and global stories.


He will talk about what investigative journalism is and is not; how to do it; and what makes investigative stories work – illustrated by examples, illustrations and video. Key people, organisations and events are in the weblinks page.


Duncan will also describe and explain vital Computer Tools for Investigative Journalism with an emphasis on core skills to found and grow a new journalist’s abilities and portfolio; and the how-to of working in an increasingly rich and diverse data environment to generate stories.


Among the CTIJ tools and skillsets Duncan will describe and introduce are:


    • Lifetime data collections

    • Protect your data – encryption and backing up

    • Finding and using unsorted data – create your own local Google

    • News databases

    • Using databases for big stories

    • Capturing data from the web

    • Internet archive records

    • Spidering the Internet

    • Researching the Internet

    • Covert recording and video – ethics and methods

In a final chat session, Duncan will lead a discussion about how investigative journalism can survive and adapt to the changing world of content creation, discussing what is happening now and what is likely to happen in the future.


Duncan has provided a page of tube and website links to stories and reports which he will talk about, explaining how the stories were done.   

Important background on your lecturer

Google on (in context)

ABC case

Results of tobacco investigation, 1999-2001

Health Committee Evidence Part 1 
Health Committee Evidence Part 2