This self-directed course page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas' massive open online course (MOOC) titled "Investigative reporting in the digital age." The four-week course took place from February 3 to March 1, 2020. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who's interested in investigative reporting and data journalism basics, including experienced investigators who seek to deepen their skills on complex investigations, collaborations and data journalism.
Module 1: THE BASIC STEPS IN DOING AN INVESTIGATIVE STORY
How to conceive of and carry out an investigation
Examples of good investigative stories large and small
What is a people trail?
What is a document trail?
Module 2: THE PEOPLE TRAIL
Understanding institutional structures to identify sources
Understanding what kind of humans sources you will deal with
The art of cultivation of sources
The art of the interview
Verifying sources and content found on social media
Module 3: THE DATA TRAIL
Finding the right databases for a story
Basic analytical techniques
Module 4: THE DOCUMENT TRAIL
Identifying documents you need
Following the leads that one document provides to another
Making sense of the documents through cross-referencing
Dovetailing documents with interviews
Module 5: PRESENTING THE INVESTIGATIVE STORY
Deciding on the best story you have and how to tell it
Ethical considerations and fairness
Line by line accuracy of the story
Checking and verifying the integrity of data
Preparing for and dealing with responses, compIaints and tips on new investigations
Lise Olsen, Mike Berens, Brant Houston and Stephen Doig
one of the best courses about Investigative Journalism from basic to next level... specially very helpful for beginners
Abdilahi Abdirahman Sh. Mohamed
its one of the best courses I have ever had Apart from all the natural disasters, I think of stories about George Pell, the coverage that led to the Banking Royal Commission, the SAS in Afghanistan and because I am a law nerd, the reporting on former...
its one of the best courses I have ever had Apart from all the natural disasters, I think of stories about George Pell, the coverage that led to the Banking Royal Commission, the SAS in Afghanistan and because I am a law nerd, the reporting on former High Court Justice Dyson Heydon.
Many of these stories are the product of investigative journalism. This is not the sort of “journalism” you see in a tabloid rag or a late-night rant on Sky News. It is the type of high-quality journalism that takes time and patience.
According to the United Nations, investigative journalism is:
Get your news from people who know what they’re talking about.
the unveiling of matters that are concealed either deliberately by someone in a position of power, or accidentally, behind a chaotic mass of facts and circumstances — and the analysis and exposure of all relevant facts to the public.
Investigative journalism is not about making friends
In many cases, investigative journalism means calling out wrongdoing. Predictably, those on the receiving end of journalists’ investigations may not like it.
For example, last November, ABC’s Four Corners aired “Inside the Canberra bubble”.
For me, none of the materials which are housed in the Knight Center website could be found; every time I clicked on a website that was housed in the Knight Center it always said 404 not found, and became a little frustrating as all I could do was watch the lectures and read the extra materials.