Presentation on theme: "A (Very) Brief Overview. A type of reporting requiring greater time and preparation than usual reporting on tighter deadlines The end result is typically."— Presentation transcript:
A type of reporting requiring greater time and preparation than usual reporting on tighter deadlines The end result is typically a larger volume of content, but it can vary in form Single large story Series of stories Web shells and multimedia feature presentations ▪ Many of these Online News Association award winners provide excellent examplesaward winners
Structural Options: Inverted Pyramid ▪ Most important information at the top ▪ Traditional print news structure Pyramid ▪ Lead, foreshadowing, chronological storytelling, climax ▪ Common for investigative stories
Structural Options (continued): Wall Street Journal ▪ Specific to general, soft lead, nut graph, body, ending that ties back to lead Hourglass ▪ Most important information at the top, then chronological storytelling
Structural Options (continued): Sections: ▪ Like chapters in a book, with each chapter ending in a way that compels continuation to next chapter until end Functions ▪ For analyzing big systems with multiple functions/departments Organic ▪ Complication, character development, resolution
The purpose of journalism in a democratic society: To inform To move Investigative journalism is perhaps the most powerful way journalists can serve the public Holds powerful forces accountable Often takes into account the powerless
Question conventional wisdom If there’s a problem, usually two things fail: either a process fails or people fail ▪ Questions to ask yourself: ▪ How is the system supposed to work? ▪ How well is the system working? ▪ Who is benefiting and who is suffering from the system?
Have a documents state of mind Secondary sources ▪ idea generation ▪ background information ▪ Preexisting reports can be a roadmap for new investigation Documents (the backbone of your story) ▪ Documents can “lie,” but they can’t claim to be misquoted
Human Sources ▪ Start with the obvious, but go beyond ▪ “Formers” can give valuable info. ▪ Cross-check info. with documents and other human sources for verification
Keep notes and recordings in files Adhere to privacy expectations You can organize information in a database: Connect dots; fill in gaps Parallel backgrounding Indirect backgrounding (parallel backgrounding on a grand scale)
Recommended Resources: “The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook” by Brant Houston and Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. IRE website IRE website
Investigative reporting can be very hard work, but the payoff can be even greater. Example of outstanding investigative journalism by a student: University Police Dept. series by Megan Morales ▪ Part 1 Part 1 ▪ Part 2 Part 2 ▪ Part 3 Part 3 Follow-up editorialeditorial
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