WHO IS THAT INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST?
This chapter defines the practice of investigative journalism, its mission and objectives. It reflects upon the differences between investigative and routine journalism. The chapter also discusses the skills and personal qualities of investigative journalists and specific topics and approaches appropriate for investigative reporting.
SETTING OFF TO FIND A STORY!
Every story starts with an idea, and this chapter will explain where these ideas can originate. They can be inspired by newspapers, talking to sources, meeting influential people, or keeping an eye on a broad range of new developments. This chapter will also focus on social network sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and the […]
MAKING A PLAN
This chapter will walk you through the different stages of planning an investigative story. From asking yourself questions and probing sources, to pitching a story and preparing a budget, each example in this chapter shows that planning is imperative for any investigative reporting project. It will also introduce how to recognise reliable sources and shape […]
TECHNIQUES FOR DATA SECURITY
Investigative journalists gather and produce a great deal of information during their research, most of which is stored on mobile or computer devices. When handling digital data, it is necessary to be aware of how to protect information and fend off security threats. One main concern during an investigation should be to ensure communication with […]
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
This chapter will discuss the basic research skills an investigative journalist needs to start his or her work. Journalists need to be aware of, and proficient in, certain tools basic to their craft: data mining and mapping, knowing how to follow a paper trail and computer-assisted reporting. It is also important that investigative journalists have […]
Human sources are some of an investigative journalist’s biggest assets. If one builds trusting relationships with good sources, they can lead to big scoops. This chapter discusses how to build these relationships and win the source’s trust so they are willing to share information. Part of this process is about being able to tell the […]
ASKING THE RIGHT(!) QUESTIONS
Interviews comprise a key element of journalism, investigative or otherwise. But the former requires more preparation, better understanding of your story and research on your source, so you can ask questions accordingly. Investigative journalism can be sensitive, controversial and even damaging to reputations, if not destroying them altogether. That is why it’s important to hone […]
WRITING THE STORY
A brilliantly investigated story may fall flat if it is not well organised and written. It must be credible to the reader, and therefore facts must be updated and timely. Using quotes from relevant and prominent people that confirm the thrust of your investigation will lend gravitas to your story. Graphs, charts and diagrams may […]