BECOMING AN 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 and the role they play in monitoring […]
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. You must know how to protect your digital data and fend off security threats. One main concern during an investigation is ensuring secure communication with sources at all times. This chapter will […]
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
This chapter will discuss the basic research skills an investigative journalist needs to start her work. Journalists need to be aware of and proficient in certain basic tools: data-mining and mapping, following a paper trail and using the Internet for further research. It is also important that investigative journalists have basic numeracy skills because many […]
GETTING THE INSIDE SCOOP
Human sources are some of an investigative journalist’s biggest assets. If they trust you enough, they may lead you 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 difference between […]
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Interviews are a key element of journalism. But in an investigative report, they require 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. That is why it is important to hone interviewing skills that prepare […]
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 […]