Find Your Writing Niche: Investigative Journalism
One of the aberrations of the recent cover story in “Rolling Stone” magazine, “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA,” is the lack of confirming information. The magazine abided by the woman’s request not to contact the men she accused of raping her.
“Jackie” is convinced that what happened to her really happened, yet other information coming forward contradicts her claims. Whatever the actual facts are, no journalist covering a deeply sensitive story such as this rape on campus account should have one source. Facts get misinterpreted, memories fade and people get confused. It is only fair to get as much information as possible.
This criterion should not be ascribed only to investigative reporting. ALL printed stories should include accurate information.
What other sources can a journalist contact to check for information?
· Those who have a direct connection to the event
· Friends, family and acquaintances
· Press releases
· Printed programs
· Online sources
· Those who are recommended as sources
I have written more than 1,000 stories over the years, and I believe that multiple sources are invaluable. When there are contradictions, try to confirm facts. If not available, state that certain facts aren’t readily confirmed.
I found the following articles informative: