Be your own investigative journalist

Be your own investigative journalist

Read the following article and carry out the interactive activities.  This is our first step towards the “investigative journalism” project.

We can define investigative journalism as:

  • An original, proactive process that digs deeply into an issue or topic of public interest
  • Producing new information or putting known information together to produce new insights
  • Multi-sourced, using more resources and demanding team-working and time
  • Revealing secrets or uncovering issues surrounded by silence
  • Looking beyond individuals at fault to the systems and processes that allow abuses to happen
  • Bearing witness, and investigating ideas as well as facts and events
  • Providing nuanced context and explaining not only what, but why
  • Not always about bad news, and not necessarily requiring undercover techniques – though it often is, and sometimes does.

An investigative reporter needs to have:

  • Curiosity
  • Passion
  • Initiative
  • Logical thinking, organisation and self-discipline
  • Flexibility
  • Good teamworking and communication skills
  • Well-developed reporting skills
  • Broad general knowledge and good research skills
  • Determination and patience
  • Fairness and strong ethics
  • Discretion
  • Citizenship
  • Courage

And finally

Though there are shared goals and common standards, there isn’t one, universal model for investigative reporting, and that to get the most out of studying case studies of other investigations, you need to think carefully about the similarities or differences in context between the case study and your own situation as a reporter.

So you should at least read something or watch something done by an inquiry/investigative journalist/reporter of your own choice.

This is a good example and it refers to something we mentioned in class.

If you want to to know more about investigative journalism, the following file will be of great help.

Investigative Journalism

For my bilingual students, I think this video could be of great interest to you.  I liked it.

Tell Me What the Papers Say

Elton John

I spy headlines, newsprint tells lies
Tell me what the papers say
Save lives don’t drive, everybody’s got to die someday
At least that’s what the papers say

Coal mines closed down
Nobody’s working underground today
More jails, peace for sale
Japanese still killing whales
Teen dreams
On two inch screens
Lipstick boys all look like queens
Least that’s what the papers say

I spy headlines, newsprint tells lies
Tell me what the papers say
Save lives don’t drive, everybody’s got to die someday
Least that’s what the papers say

Dope and pills, guns kill
Death just buys cheap thrills
Coal mines, closed down
Nobody’s working underground today

Teen dreams, on two inch screens
Lipstick boys all look like queens
Least that’s what the papers say

Now watch the investigative video from  The I Files (Investigate Your World) packed with really interesting videos.  Browse them and find others that may spark your investigation.  The following video is linked to our Green and Environmentally-friendly Approach to Life.

What’s the price of gasoline? In the U.S. it’s about $4 a gallon. But some experts say the true price of gas is much higher. What about the costs of pollution, and the global and local problems caused by it? Who pays for those? This animated feature from the Center for Investigative Reporting calculates the carbon footprint and other “external costs” of gasoline use in the U.S.

This video is about a touching story which casts light on how mentally disabled people may happen to be brutalised and victimised by those who should take care of them.  I want to share this story with you because so little is ever done to disclose the “traumas” some people have to go through when their lives were already traumatised by life itself.  Investigative journalism can help defend the rights of the so-called “invisible people” making them “visible”, unfolding before our eyes the debased nature of the so-called “normal” people.  I hope this video will make you reflect upon this issue as much as it made me reflect about it.

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