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Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and The University of Texas at Austin via Independent

Overview

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.

Syllabus

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
  • Visualizing data

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

Taught by

Lise Olsen, Mike Berens, Brant Houston and Stephen Doig

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Reviews

4.0 rating, based on 3 reviews

Start your review of Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age

  • 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...
  • 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.
  • John Ford is taking this course right now.

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