Investigative Journalism Workshop: North Stradbroke Island, Australia

As a writer, do you aspire to uncover the truth and pen hard-hitting investigative features, but struggle knowing where to begin? Come spend a delightful and intensive week on Minjerribah with the editors of Global Hobo and New Matilda, and give your skills (and your story portfolio) a massive boost.

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

Who’s Teaching?

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.

Cost

  • $1550AUD for a four-share room
  • $1750AUD for a twin-share room
  • $1950 for a private room (or you can share a queen with a pal for the price of a twin-share)

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
  • October 17 – 24, 2021

FAQ

  • I’m still not convinced — what makes Global Hobo different from everyone else?
    • Read about our commitments to diversity, accessibility, sustainability and more.
  • This looks kind of scammy — I’d like to read some reviews of the program from previous hobos.
  • I want to know some more information about the program!
  • What are your terms and conditions?

To Apply

Age is just a number -- but you've gotta be at least 18.
No pressure - beginners are still welcome to apply.

Are you an aspiring writer with itchy feet? Spend a month in tropical North Queensland with us at one of our Freelance and Travel Writing Workshops.

Learn More

Want to learn how to perfect your craft, pitch to an editor and get published? Come hang with us for a week in Byron Bay at one of our Freelance and Travel Writing Retreats!

Learn More

Global Hobo is run by a team of writers who mostly live and work on Bundjalung land in the Byron Shire. We would like to acknowledge, pay our respects and give thanks to the Arakwal people, the Widjabal people and the Minjungbal people of the Bundjalung nation: the traditional and ongoing custodians of the land. We pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging, and acknowledge that their land was stolen, and never ceded. We also acknowledge that First-Nations people in Australia continue to suffer from colonialism, and that all settlers in Australia continue to benefit from this oppressive system.

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