Scenarios

Public interest – scenario

This scenario looks at some of the issues that need to be considered when deciding whether a story is in the public interest.

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.

Legal threats – scenario

Journalists often come under pressure with threats of legal action if they don't publish or broadcast what others want. In this scenario we look at a scenario where a reporter is sent a cease and desist letter and told legal action will be taken against them if they don't add 'positive-spin' to an article.

Returning ‘favours’ – scenario

In this scenario you are a parliamentary reporter being put under pressure to cover a story by a politician who says they did you a favour in the past.

Informed consent – scenario

You are a reporter covering a house fire where a traumatised woman talks to you on camera but after the interview you are made aware of the circumstances that could mean she didn't realise what she was saying. Do you use the interview?

Off-the-record chat – scenario

What should a journalist do with off-the-record information? Should they agree to conditions on its use? Should they ignore any conditions and do the story anyway? Or should they use what they have been told as background information and dig further? Try our scenario and decide what you would do in the circumstances.

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?

Editorial impartiality – scenario

Allegations are made about an incompetent medical surgeon and a subsequent cover up at a hospital. People have died. Your news editor asks you to investigate. The only problem is – the surgeon is your cousin. What do you do?

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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.

Adapting to changing audience behaviour

The challenge of keeping up with changing audience behaviour and ensuring that the content that is produced is available on all the devices the audience uses to access information.

Creating a journalism content weighting system

Introducing a story weighting system helps prioritises effort on the stories that are of most value to the target audience, it saves time, speeds up production, and helps avoid wasted effort.