Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.

Chapter 3 – Planning the investigation

You cannot just move from idea straight to investigation. What you have is just a starting point. Because investigative stories carry a heavy social responsibility – and various legal risks – you must be sure your investigation is as thorough, accurate and comprehensive as possible. And because investigative reporting needs resources, you need to make certain these will be in place.
  • You need a framework of structured questions that will allow you to move from a broad, theoretical story idea to a tightly-framed hypothesis or question your IJ project can prove or answer
  • You need to plan your project, thinking about rationale, sources, obstacles, timeline and budget
  • You need to base any story pitch on this plan
  • Consider all sources: primary, secondary, paper, human and digital
  • Be aware of the uses of each, and construct a methodology that allows you to dig for information from sources that are appropriate

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