Friday, 15 June 2012

Investigative Journalism Reflection

When I tell people that I study journalism, they immediately think that my plan is to become a hard-hitter, dive straight in, investigative journalist who 'breaks' the stories. I'm not planning becoming anything close to that, those people actually care about stuff and things. I don't want to be on the front lines with a microphone; I respect those who do though. From what I've learned, investigative journalists have to be passionate and determined to be a good at their job.

The amazing and talented Bruce Redman imparted the 'in's of an investigative journalist. These are, in order of most important to most useful: intelligent, informed, intuitive, inside and invest. Isn't that a handy tool for remembering what investigative journalism is all about? I think so at least. Now let's run through them.

Intelligent - Be intelligent?
Informed - Research what you're writing about. You have to know your topic inside and out.
Intuitive - Foresight is important, in both journalism and in general.
Inside - Either this means that you have to put yourself into the centre of the story to get first hand information and a personal knowledge of what is going on, or stay healthy.
Invest - Investigative journalism requires commitment. Don't just do the journalism, be the journalism.

Obviously investigative journalism is more thorough and significant than those paramount stories about Summer's latest fashion trends. In the world of investigation, documents are combed, facts are checked and more than one person is asked questions. Investigate journalists scrutinise and expose, rather than simply relay readily available information. Information is out there, albeit some hidden, and it's their job to get it into the public conscious.

I didn't retain any other information from the lecture. 90% was dedicated to examples of good and bad investigative journalism. I remember that Wikileaks and the Watergate scandal were mentioned. It was an interesting lecture none the less.

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