Tuesday, Mark Horvit, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), will come to class and talk about what we mean when we use the words “investigative reporting” and how ordinary journalists can use pretty basic reporting skills to do great work that brings about change.
I can think of a fair number of examples of this from my seven years here: stories done by students who stuck with a subject long enough to shed light on the dark corners.
But it takes time and money, and new business models are evolving to sustain “stakeholder journalism” (which includes investigative reporting). Think Spot.Us.
Or how about ProPublica, which published this piece about the dangers of dialysis and won several awards, including one from IRE. I heard the reporter, Robin Fields, talk about reporting this story. It’s not magic, just hard work and knowing where and how to mine for information. The result is a story that could prompt changes that could save patients’ lives.
And then there’s this one from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that quite likely has made the world a safer place.
Read them both before tomorrow, and notice how transparent the reporters are in explaining how they did the story.
Why is that important?