Investigative journalism over the years of losing trail has revived itself, thanks to the extent of technology that has made the feat possible. The journalist who once had to spend months and years of meticulous research and preparing reports, otherwise known as watchdog reporting, has a lot of tools available to make his job simpler. The key to a good investigative journalism lies in how well the public records are followed, the financial records are understood and the best online search strategies to be worked out, because heinous crimes and corruption needs more meticulous tools.
What are the tricks to improve investigative journalism?
We know how journalists earlier, spent a lifetime digging through the books and newspaper clippings for a systematic, in-depth and original reporting to unearth the great secrets. The techniques required to expose the truths often-involved heavy reliance on the public records and data, which took years of hard work to become fruitful. But thanks to the foray of technology, in the 1990s, data analysis and visualization has taken a new turn. The technology is contributing immensely to better the age-old techniques of forming & testing a hypothesis and rigorous fact checking. Let’s go through the various scopes of investigative journalism and how could the techniques be improved further.
Understanding the investigative journalism techniques
Investigative reporting is a crucial form of journalism that requires years of meticulous research and fact checking to derive into a final report. The following section tours you through the various techniques that are used over years.
It is one of the vital techniques of investigative journalism, since investigating through millions of data can help you find leads that might be impossible to attain while interviewing hundreds of them for a story. In-depth reporting to verify and to complement other’s findings must assist the investigations. Collaborative data journalism is a great idea to improvise your data based investigations. The cheaper internet and booming social media has made the communication and sharing much easier. The collaborative data projects thus allow multiple newsrooms and social media to tell out the stories gathered from the data set and thus creating a big impact. Panama Papers and Paradise papers are the result of collaborative data journalism. Apart from this, several tools like R and RStudio might help you to ease your data handling techniques.
Fact – checking is a crucial process to ensure that all the data are true to its core and no one is subject to any assumptions. This is essential to improve the trust upon the journalist and the surety that no one is named unnecessarily. There were several instances in history that have resulted in sabotaging innocents because of poor fact checking. Letting go of the greed for awards, scoops and better salary can help in streamlining honest reports aided by fact checkers. Verifying any allegations by confirming with witnesses on record and other evidence can lead to a perfect fact checking. Be ready with all the bulletproofing before publishing any reports
Find Out More About : Choosing Investigative Journalism As Your Career
Responsible online searches
Fact checking and research goes hand in hand with investigative journalism. Researching authentic sources online and then gathering documents and data, to formulate an exclusive report requires a great deal of critical thinking also. This is very important for a comprehensive and specific reporting to be efficient. Mining twitter to find people at the scene of breaking story, Customizing the browsers with add-ons for detailed web research, cluster searching search engines are some of the techniques of an effective online search.
Exposing financial discrepancy
Deep analyzing of company reports to find out how the companies are performing and to find out irregular transactions can help you in getting corporate powers to stand exposed. Tracking money laundering, and scrutinizing financial statements are crucial to uncover the frauds in top corporates.
Tracking the human trafficking
Forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation: the list of horrendous human trafficking list can go on and on. Exposing this crime requires great skills, which is expanding its multimillion industries with no shame. Since these crimes have been increasingly dependent online, staying vigilant on social media is the best tip for unearthing the secrets of tracking mafias. Also large repository of crimes relate to flesh trade is available in open in the internet
Mobiles play a great role in enabling reporters to produce and edit videos on the move. The technique of dubbed mobile journalism or mojo can be used in any part of the world.
The public documents are the vital building blocks for good investigative journalism. The understanding and analyzing of these documents has become essential for a good investigative reporting. The only challenge is the accessibility to the public documents that may vary from country to country.
Although the above-mentioned techniques are essential for effective journalism, raising funds for the same is equally important. The journalist may have to rely upon detailed research and excellent writing skills to raise the required funds.