Avinash Kaur Bedi
Kawaljeet Singh Chandhok
An investigative report is a document that is
meant to provide information on a certain topic
that is not easily obtained. It is meant to present
the reader with a wealth of easily
understood information and usually contains
an interview or two on the subject. In order to
write a successful investigative report, one must
conduct a substantial amount of research and
provide the reader with a wealth of information
so that he or she can make an informed choice.
Investigative journalism is a form
of journalism in which reporters deeply
investigate a single topic of interest, often
involving crime, political corruption, or corporate
wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may
spend months or years researching and
preparing a report. Investigative journalism is
a primary source of information. Most
investigative journalism is done
by newspapers, wire
services and freelance journalists. Practitioners
sometimes use the terms "watchdog
journalism" or "accountability reporting."
Investigative Journalists can be traced back to the
19th century and began their works in New York
when an forgery and bribe case was uncovered by
journalists of the New York Times
They became influential throughout the world
during the World War 1 and became famous as
muckrakes or ³watchdog journalists´.
First Lead, Tip or Hunch
Form an Investigative Hypothesis
Follow the Investigative Trail: Paper, People and
Electronic Trails Ä Organize information
Fill in the Gaps: More data or interviews
Write the Report
Libel Check- PEOPLE TRAIL
In the recent past may be for a span of 3 years,
the impact of investigative journalism is intense in
India. People remember days when they closely
followed the activities of terrorists during
November 26, 2008 Mumbai attack. Media turned
out to be an eye opener for several ordinary
citizens . Public can closely follow several issues.
This is a stupendous improvement perhaps
investigative journalism is taking a tweak in its
favour most times.
The exposure of scams and fraud cases of the
The alertness amongst common people due to
in depth investigation of major issues like 26/11
attacks or the 13/7 triple blasts in Mumbai.
The dependency on media to know what the
latest facts and stories are.
Investigative stories focus on issues that are in
accordance to the issues that can make a
difference to the society in any which way
Investigations and reports have led to many
movements like the protest demanding the
Lokpal Bill passed by the government.
The common people would not have been
alerted about the corruption and the scams
cracked by investigative journalism, leading to
The information is usually very accurate as the
investigation carried out is kept secretive and in
the interest of the common people against super
powers like politicians and system.
Passion- Mostly investigative journalism is a thankless endeavour, time- and energy-consuming, that will get your editor impatient and powerful people annoyed with you. One has to be really passionate towards then investigation.
Curiosity- Asking questions is where investigative journalism starts. The questions can be about events in the news, or about things you see or hear about in your day-to-day life.
Initiative- Many newsrooms operate on limited resources and all run on tight deadlines. So an investigative idea you mention at a news conference won¶t always be instantly adopted, particularly if it is un-formed and vague. One needs to take the initiative, do his own preliminary checking and shape the idea...