Understanding Investigative Journalism

What is Investigative Journalism?

Investigative journalism is simply defined as an act of investigating reports or any single story of interest for the sake of private or public knowledge. Things to investigate may include private or corporate wrongdoing, political corruption, serious crimes etc.
How long does it take to complete the research?
Usually investigate journalists spend months or years before
they could conclude their investigative findings. But it doesn’t mean that the number of months or years determines the authenticity of the report, because a credible report can be concluded within one week or 2-3 business days.
Preparing a credible report requires resilience, courage, determination and patience. If you lack any of these virtues, it might be difficult for the researcher to make breakthrough in investigative reporting.
Other useful information
To most people, investigative journalism remains their only source of information. Investigative journalism is mainly conducted by:
·         Wire services
·         Freelance journalists
·         Newspaper and magazines
Practitioners of investigative reporting or journalism usually use the term ‘accountability reporting’ in carrying out their research.
 International consortium of Investigative Journalists based in Washington, DC is one of the globally acclaimed team of investigative journalists. At the moment, they have conducted over 160 investigative reports, and they have physical presence in over 65 countries of the world. Over 90% of their findings have been adjudged by both private and corporate organizations to be factual, real, and sealed.
They focused on abuse of power, corruption and crime. To their credit, they have exposed a wide range of private military cartels, organized crimes, climate change lobbyists, international tobacco companies, asbestos companies, panama papers, details of Afghanistan and War contracts and so on.
Tools used by investigative journalists
Investigative journalism is a serious business. An investigative reporter while carrying out their research may use one or more of these tools:
·         Analysis of documents including tax clearance records, legal documents, lawsuits, corporate financial findings, regulatory reports, government reports etc
·         Databases of public records
·         Series of interviews conducted over the years, especially interviews from anonymous sources
·         Data gotten from Federal or State freedom of information Acts etc
The goal of an investigative journalist is to discover the truth, and identify lapses or inconsistencies in it, and then share the information with the media. This is known as investigative reporting or investigative journalism. Other people that can carry out this type of reporting are auditors, lawyers, and other private or corporate regulatory bodies.