Ten quick tips for investigative reporting

An investigative report is one that reveals new findings based on the work and research of the reporter. Here are some quick tips from an ICFJ Anywhere online course to get you started.

10 QUICK TIPS ON INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

  1.     Do some preliminary research before launching an investigation or even pitching it to your editor.
  2.     Know the laws a) so you don’t break them and b) to know how to use them to your benefit.
  3.     Support your work with documents when possible. Think about what documents you need and how you can obtain them.
  4.     Don’t rush into interviews. Get as much information as you can first, so you can ask intelligent questions when you do get the interview and so you will be ready to challenge evasive answers.
  5.     Fact-check everything – from documents to information obtained through sources.
  6.     Avoid undercover investigations and ambush interviews unless absolutely necessary.
  7.     Always allow the subject of your investigation a fair chance to respond.
  8.     Don’t be chained to your story in the face of evidence to the contrary. If you find that your hypothesis is wrong, be prepared to shift gears and change your story.
  9.     Keep in touch with your sources on a regular basis
  10.     Follow-up on stories

Via ICFJ Anywhere

Add a new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allows breaking the content into pages by manually inserting <!--pagebreak--> placeholder or automatic page break by character or word limit, it depends on your settings below. Note: this will work only for CCK fields except for comment entity CCK fields.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <!-- -->
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.