Category Archives: Investigative Journalism Book

Stuart Ramsay – Reporting Tripoli

OK you have to understand something – this is totally raw and emotional so forgive me.

My friend of 20 years Alex Crawford has been f**king lucky and I have been chasing and working harder. For six months I have been chasing – actually my whole life. It is all about timing and Alex was bang on it. It is hot; I am f**ked and my team is f**ked but I AM heading to Bab al Aziziya. Two days, no sleep – determined. When the first tank round came OUT of the compound and flew over our heads I shouted: “Keep f**king driving man – this is a f**king good day – they missed!” It’s total war. Impossible to describe. Keep up. It WAR. Proper war.

I meet my mate Miles Amore (Sunday Times): “Stu, it’s f**king amazing, man, get in – where you been man – f**k!” “F**king Ibiza – what up with your lid?” (helmet) it has a tear. His body armour is ropey. “Hit man – knocked to ground – f**k,” he said. “F**king right. Thank fuck you had it on,” I replied. Most of my newspaper mates wear nothing. I go nowhere without. “Now f**k off and live – go.” We met two days later and he asked to borrow a hat!

Written by Stuart Ramsay – Sky News Chief Correspondent.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Investigative Journalism Book

Mundane Reality Behind the Myth of the Dashing, Devil-May-Care Super Sleuths

Phillip Knightley, one of the country’s most distinguished investigative journalists, has never gone undercover. For him, investigative reporting involves long, boring hours in libraries, looking things up, tracing people, studying court reports, attending legal conferences, typing up memos and listening to outlandish conspiracy theories: that sort of thing. Here he offers six top tips to an aspiring sleuth

There are lots of myths about investigative journalism. It is thought to be exciting and glamorous. Its practitioners are seen as dashing, devil-may-care reporters who made the leap from suburban courts to “under-cover” work exposing the wrong-doers in our society and obtaining justice for those who had suffered at their hands.

Investigative journalists, so the myth goes, persist when ordinary reporters give up, have flashes of inspiration and insight, persuade reluctant insiders to confide in them and then, at the right moment, confront the guilty men (seldom women) and reveal all.

Written by Phillip Knightley.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Investigative Journalism Book

Is Investigative Journalism Dead Or Alive?

Its death has been much predicted and is long in coming but Investigative Journalism in Britain is still in rude health.

In the last year alone we have seen Rupert Murdoch catapulted to crisis by ‘Hackgate’, Sepp Blatter forced into a corner and Jack Warner out of FIFA, a policeman prosecuted for the unlawful killing of a bystander at the G20 demonstrations in 2009 ,a quarter of a million previously secret diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, Winterbourne View , a ‘care’ home exposed and closed by ‘Panorama’ and more wrongdoers brought to justice all thanks to the diggers of the journalistic world.

Investigative journalism is alive and well in the UK most certainly in the broadsheet press and on television. It had been the conventional wisdom that Britain’s draconian libel laws, cuts in editorial budgets and loss of interest and will by editors and proprietors had killed it off.

Written by John Mair – Senior Lecturer.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Investigative Journalism Book

How To Get Investigative Documentaries On Television

I’m puzzled that I often meet fantastic journalists who believe fervently that television is set against investigations. They list wonderful stories that have been rejected, and portray a Britain of dumbed down television that has no room for journalistic sleuthing.

Of course, any TV listings guide will show they are wrong.

I think in many cases they would get their ideas accepted if they had a better understanding of the language of television, its demands and its power. It doesn’t help that sometimes journalists have a wilful disdain for understanding the language of television. They believe that the story is all, and everything else is flummery.

That makes no sense. The story is important, but these same journalists would never rage against a newspaper editor who required their scoop to be written in clear, vigorous writing in grammatically correct English.

I think that to make worthwhile television there are some rules that by and large have to be followed. To convince a commissioning editor that a film should be made, journalists need to demonstrate they understand these rules and can meet the demands they impose.

Written by Eamonn Matthews – Managing Director of Quicksilver Media.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Investigative Journalism Book

Whistleblowing – From The Xerox Machine To WikiLeaks

So here we have this remarkable invention which, at the touch of a button, revolutionises the ways in which we can communicate. It allows the dissemination of information to countless people around the world. The operation can be carried out with complete anonymity. Suddenly, leaking and whistleblowing can be done on a grand scale – so who needs time-consuming investigative journalism? I refer, of course, to the arrival of the photocopier.

It was the photocopier which, in 1971, allowed Daniel Ellsberg, a former US marine commander and Pentagon official, to take 7,000 pages of top secret documents about the US decision-making process in Vietnam and disseminate them, first to The New York Times, then to the Washington Post and finally to a series of other newspapers across the US. In this way he established himself as one of the most significant figures in the history of whistleblowing and leaking. The photocopier was hailed at the time as a fabulous conduit for information, as, in many ways, it was. There must be many grateful journalists who have received, often anonymously, the fruits of some troublemaker’s afternoon at the Xerox machine.

Now, forty years after the Pentagon Papers, we have a combination of the internet, WikiLeaks, Twitter and “citizen journalism”, all changing the ways in which we communicate and digest information. But do they really alter the basics of reporting much more than the photocopier did?

Written by Duncan Campbell – Former Guardian crime correspondent.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Investigative Journalism Book

Investigative Journalism – Dead Or Alive?

Coventry University Senior lecturer John Mair and Richard Lance Keeble have edited and compiled a book featuring over thirty chapters written by some of the best people in the Journalism and Media world. The book, entitled Investigative Journalism – Dead Or Alive? gives stories and advice from journalists with work ranging from ‘how to write an article’ to ‘how the media warned America about 9/11’.

CU Today is giving students and other readers a chance to view some of the most relevant articles to the website courtesy of John Mair, and these articles will be published over the coming weeks until the Autumn term begins once more. Investigative Journalism can be purchased for £17.99 (at time of publishing) via Amazon by clicking this link.

The writers featured include:  Bob Woodward, Donal MacIntyre, Mark Daly, Paul Kenyon and John Ware of the BBC’s Panorama, Pulitzer Prize-Winner David Cay Johnston, Paul Bradshaw, Philip Knightley, Adrian Quinn, Kevin Marsh, Eamonn O’Neill and John Tulloch. Sher Baz Khan looks at the troubled state of investigative journalism in Pakistan, Homson Shaw and Hugo de Burgh focus on China, Daniel Ruiz and Neil Fowler, with students Sean Carson, Shane Croucher, Tom Farmery and Sean McGrath also contributing.

For futher information, contact John Mair via his email – aa0321@coventry.ac.uk.

Written by Jon Dudley – Student Editor.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Investigative Journalism Book

Sir Harold Evans On The Failures Of Journalism

Matt Wells spoke to Sir Harold Evans in New York:

As Editor of the Sunday Times, you helped make it distinctive by giving it a strong investigative arm. Do you see that kind of strength in reporting and in news outlets these days? And what thoughts have you about whether the shift towards online journalism creates a pressure against that or limits that in any way?

There has been a reduction in the amount of long-form investigative journalism and that’s a great pity because some stories actually need space to investigate and put the qualifications in, and so I regret that to some extent – to a large extent, in fact. It can be done online, I mean the Daily Beast [edited by Sir Harold’s wife, Tina Brown] does some, but generally speaking the longer forms of journalism are more suitable to print than to the web.
Generally, when we are on the web we are in a hurry. I think they are complementary; you need both.
Written by Matthew Wells – Journalist.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Investigative Journalism Book