Investigative

The mindset for investigative journalism

The investigative mindset is responsible for solving more information mysteries than probably any other factor. If you haven’t started writing down your best strategies now might be the time to start.

How to investigate official documents

The investigative journalist never takes things at face value. They probe and question in order to get to the truth. If you are to uncover the story you need to keep asking questions.

Compiling an investigative journalism dossier

Discipline, order and a well thought out plan are essential for successful investigative journalism. It starts with the compilation of a solid dossier built with meticulous precision and executed with an attention to detail.

Avoiding the pitfalls of investigative journalism

Producing a piece of investigative journalism to international standards can be a daunting prospect. This guide is to help journalists avoid some of the pitfalls and problems often encountered.

Tips for investigative journalism

The following are some of the points from a training session given by Marcus Tanner to the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence setting out how to produce a piece of investigative journalism.

Why would anyone want to talk to a journalist?

There may be many reasons why someone will agree to open up to a reporter, and some will be beyond their control. It's worth taking time to try to figure out the motives before interviewing them.

10 tips for investigating corruption

An investigative journalist has to plot the geometry of bribery, determine the currency of influence, document the paper trail, and deal with threats and retaliation when investigating corruption.

20 ways a suspect can help a journalist

Sources are one of the most valuable resources for a journalist. Without sourced information, the reports produced may end up being padded with rumour and personal opinion.

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Accuracy – scenario

Scenario: There has been a strike at a steel works. The union claims all its 100,000 members were out on strike, but the employer says 50% turned up for work and defied the picket line. You were reporting from the main gates of the steel plant all day and you didn't see anyone crossing the picket line. What do you report?

Covering a tragedy – scenario

In this scenario we look at how a journalist should act when they witness a tragedy unfolding and have to decide whether to help, or to stand by and report. The scenario also looks at how senior editorial managers could, and probably should, support their journalists working in difficult conditions.

Information disorder – how to recognise the forms

Four free-to-download high-resolution graphics created by First Draft News to help explain the different categories, types, elements, and phases of information disorder. They are available for use in publications and presentations.