Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.


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  • Define the practice of investigative journalism
  • Discuss the mission of investigative journalists and some of the ground rules they need to observe
  • Discuss the skills and personal qualities investigative journalists need
  • Identify topics and approaches appropriate for investigative stories and
  • Discuss, critique, and derive pointers from examples of African and other investigative journalism
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  • List a variety of ways investigative story ideas can be found
  • Evaluate the usefulness of each of these
  • Distinguish between investigative journalism and ‘leak reporting’
  • Follow a systematic process to evaluate and deal with a tip-off
  • Follow a systematic process to expand and develop a story idea
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  • Explain the difference between a story idea and a hypothesis
  • Draw up an investigative reporting plan
  • Create and deliver an informative, convincing story pitch
  • Explain the uses and limitations of different types of source material and different investigation methods
  • Understand what a paper trail is and how to begin tracking one
  • Draw up and use criteria of authenticity and adequacy for evidence and
  • Draft useable timelines and budgets
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  • Build on the foundations laid in Chapter 2 to further develop your source-mapping skills
  • Employ a structured process for evaluating the usefulness/relevance of a source
  • Describe the factors that impact on a journalist’s relationship with human sources
  • Discuss the dilemmas encountered in dealing with sources
  • Describe and evaluate the range of options reporters have for resolving these dilemmas
  • List some available sources for information on a range of topics
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  • Describe the differences between general and investigative interviewing in terms of approach, strategy and questioning technique
  • Understand the factors that can make interviewing relationships adversarial, and how to handle these
  • Name and employ techniques for dealing with deceit and ‘spin’ in interviews
  • Name and employ techniques for dealing with trauma, reluctance and fear in interviews
  • Discuss the risks reporters face in investigative interviewing, and tactics for dealing with these
  • List the conventions governing investigative interviewing and discuss the usefulness of these
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  • Have a basic grasp of computer-assisted reporting (CAR)
  • Use Access to Information procedures to inform and strengthen your investigative stories
  • Carry out basic mathematical operations with numbers
  • Understand how statistics are gathered and compiled
  • Ask essential questions about and conduct essential checks on numerical information provided by others
  • Convey numerical and statistical information clearly and accurately to readers
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  • Sort and organise information before you write
  • Structure a story to present the results of your investigation clearly
  • Build arguments in your story that are credible and logical
  • Use various writing techniques including narrative journalism to engage readers
  • Discuss differences in story presentation and packaging between print, broadcast and online media
  • Apply appropriate checklists for revision and self-editing
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  • Describe the rights of journalists under international human rights codes
  • List the areas where investigative journalism most frequently comes into conflict with national criminal or civil law
  • Describe the legal provisions related to these areas in your own national legal code
  • Describe the precautions an investigative journalist should take as protection against prosecution or civil suits and potential defence if such suits are launched
  • Describe the general principles guiding ethical investigative reporting
  • Discuss those principles in relation to examples and case studies
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  • Read scientific reports and understand basic biomedical concepts and processes (such as drug testing);
  • Look for reliable sources on health issues;
  • Understand and explain changes over time in medical information;
  • Examine key conditions (HIV/Aids, TB, malaria, diabetes, diseases of poverty) in light of some basic issues;
  • Summarise often complex health care issues for your audience ;
  • Compare the different views that people can have on health, illness and medicine;
  • Think about the many ways that health issues can affect communities.