Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, corporate wrongdoing or lack of accountability. Investigative journalism reports go beyond the quickly prepared, brief stories appearing in mainstream news sites, newspapers and magazines. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. This form of journalism is sometimes known as "watchdog journalism" or "accountability reporting." Investigative journalists make use of many types of sources, such as lawsuits, tax records, government reports, corporate financial filings, public record databases, government and business practices, academic databases (such as LexisNexis), in-depth on- or off-the-record interviews, and federal and state Freedom of Information Act documents from government agencies.
Below is a sampling of investigative journalism websites. These sites can be a good source to consult in helping you decide on a topic for your assignment, as well as a source of articles and reports for your bibliography and references.
Bureau of Investigative Journalism. "...a not-for-profit organisation based at City University, London, that bolsters original journalism by producing high-quality investigations for press and broadcast media."
California Watch. "California Watch is a nonprofit and nonpartisan investigative reporting group operated by the Center for Investigative Reporting. Writers and editors at the news organization track a variety of issues, including money and politics, the environment, health and welfare, public safety and education." [Description from Wikipedia, California Watch]
Center for Investigative Reporting. "Founded in 1977, the Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation's oldest nonprofit investigative news organization, producing multimedia reporting that has impact and is relevant to people's lives."
Center for Public Integrity. "The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis. We are one of the country's oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: to reveal abuses of power, corruption and dereliction of duty by powerful public and private institutions in order to cause them to operate with honesty, integrity, accountability and to put the public interest first."
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. "...a unique network of more than 100 leading journalists in 50 countries. Launched in 1997 as a project of the Center for Public Integrity, ICIJ works on transnational investigations of crime, corruption, and lack of accountability." View the video below for an overview of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Investigative Reporters and Editors. "Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. IRE was formed in 1975 to create a forum in which journalists throughout the world could help each other by sharing story ideas, newsgathering techniques and news sources."
Investigative Reporting Workshop. "The Investigative Reporting Workshop, [is] a professional journalism center in the School of Communication at American University."
National Security Archive. "Founded in 1985 by journalists and scholars to check rising government secrecy, the National Security Archive combines a unique range of functions: investigative journalism center, research institute on international affairs, library and archive of declassified U.S. documents ("the world's largest nongovernmental collection" according to the Los Angeles Times), leading non-profit user of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, public interest law firm defending and expanding public access to government information, global advocate of open government, and indexer and publisher of former secrets."
ProPublica. "ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest." From Wikipedia, "ProPublica's investigations are conducted by its staff of full-time investigative reporters and the resulting stories are given away to news 'partners' for publication or broadcast. In some cases, reporters from both ProPublica and the news partners work together on a story. ProPublica has partnered with more than 50 different news organizations, including 60 Minutes, ABC World News, Business Week, CNN, Frontline, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, The Washington Post,Huffington Post, MSN Money, MSNBC.com, Politico,Reader's Digest, Salon.com,Slate, This American Life, and NPR, among many others."
Writing a research paper even though may seem challenging is a substantial part of everyday student life. You are required to write at least one research paper in a semester for the majority of the subjects. Do not underestimate research projects, as they demand a huge effort and a lot of time from you. Nevertheless, do not let your research paper assignment give you anxiety and influence your overall studies. To minimize worries and inconsistencies while working on the research paper you must be sure in your research paper topic. There are times when you are assigned to the topic but more frequently, you will have to create a topic by yourself. The whole research should be built around or from the topic. In order to choose an interesting topic, which will demonstrate your best talents, you should keep reading.
How to select the best research paper topic?
When choosing your research paper topic, you need to make sure it is neither boring nor worn out. An interesting innovative topic will intrigue the readers and motivate them to read your whole research. But if you don’t know how to create a topic on your own, use help of writers in topic creation.There are some things to consider when selecting an appropriate topic:
THE FIELD OF YOUR INTEREST
There is no secret that you will not be able to write a good insightful research paper if you are not interested in the subject overall and in the topic in particular. If on the other hand the topic is linked to the field of your interest, you may consider yourself lucky. It would be easier to explore the theme and write about it. You may even find some additional resources on your computer or I cloud service for the topic, which excites you. If you enjoy science, you are sure to talk non-stop about it. The same goes for writing.
A TOPIC SHOULD BE DEFINITE
You need to be sure to understand everything clearly when you choose an essay topic. Do not hesitate to ask questions if there are some unclear points. The more you understand the simpler it is for you to write a successful research paper. If the indistinct issues are still at large, it is advisable to leave this topic be and simply select another one. You need to show the readers that you master of the topic and not a confused newbie who does not know what he or she is talking about.
BE PRECISE AND SPECIFIC
You need to understand completely that you are not writing a descriptive essay. A research paper is an accurate and thorough work, which is based on facts details. You cannot add watery text about anything into the paper. Your statement should be supported with examples or reference other profound research and academical works.
This advice may seem dull if you are working on historical paper. How innovative can you get discussing French revolution or Perl Harbor? However, an innovative approach can give you the edge among other students. A topic should address the matter from a different and surprising perspective. With a deep investigation, you may even find the unknown until now facts that can blow your readers’ minds. This approach will intrigue your readers and will make research paper stand out.