Investigative Reporting

Course Description

Investigative reporting extends beyond partisan claims and counter claims to offer verifiable facts that can be found in court documents, state or company reports. Such news stories require collecting enough evidence to allow an editorial judgment to be made about whether what people say is, in fact, true. Students learn how to select an appropriate investigative topic, narrow the focus of a story from a broad subject to a suitable topic, and conduct the shoe-leather reporting that is needed to discover a story’s shape and weight. Students formulate questions, determine who they will need to interview, conduct the reporting, then write an in-depth piece in several drafts that illuminates the chosen subject.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and cultivate news sources.
  • Conduct research for information via phone calls and the Internet.
  • Identify appropriate questions for news sources.
  • Identify the key structural elements of a news story.
  • Write follow-up or second-day stories.
  • Collaborate with others in the editing process.
  • Report on a beat by following developing events closely and writing about them.


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