JOU 6118 Investigative Reporting Techniques
Instructor: Mercedes Vigón, Ph.D.
NAHJ Chapter Meeting: Mo: 5:15 pm- 6:15 pm
This course provides training in investigative reporting, teaching students how to go beyond the day-to-day journalism. The course will emphasize problem solving in developing stories from conception to finished product. The course is practical and., at the same time, directs students to think deeply about the stories they do and why they do them. It will include lectures, discussions, independent work in class, out-of class reporting and writing and conferences with the instructor.
This course will focus on mastering online research; finding and using public records; learning to use spreadsheets and database managers to identify original stories and report them right. You will learn how to follow paper trails, background people, and base your questions on these findings.
Professional Values and Competencies:
The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications requires that, irrespective of their particular specialization, all graduates should be aware of certain core values and competencies and be able to:
Because each story will be different, this is a class in which the instructor’s one to one coaching will be essential. Nevertheless, students will learn from each other’s achievements and mistakes.
Stories and drafts will be discussed in class. Through this method you’ll get an instant grasp of the effect of your story on the audience, what works and what doesn’t work
The course will emphasize problem solving in developing stories from conception to finished
· Do not miss class. Call ahead of time if you must be away: Class attendance, preparation and participation are 20 % of your grade. There will be penalties for any unexcused absence. They will result in deduction of points from your final grade. Do not arrive late. Arriving late more than twice and your grade will be reduced by one letter.
· No late work! We will operate under the same rules as any newspaper regarding deadlines. All ideas and reports must be submitted by assigned deadline.
· Always number and staple the pages. Write in double space.
· On top of the first page write your name, title and number of the assignment, course name and date.
· Always keep a printed copy of your assignments and save them in a diskette and in your e-mail account.
· Click here to find your e-mail address.
· Plagiarism/Academic Dishonesty:
A = 92
- 100% (your work is good enough to be well received in an editorial
meeting or to be published)
B- = 80
- 81% (your work requires more planning and documentation to be presented,
and a lot of editing)
(Some of these books are available in the bookstore; others can be checked out from the library)
· Berry, Stephen J. Watchdog Journalism. The Art of Investigative ReportingWatchdog Journalism. The Art of Investigative Reporting. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
· Houston, Brant. Computer-Assisted Reporting – A Practical Guide. New York: St. Martins Press, 2004.
· Adams, Joe. Florida Public Records Handbook, Tallahassee: The First Amendment Foundation, 2003.
Covarrubias, Jorge. Manual
de Técnicas de Redacción Periodística, Associated
Press, New York, NY. 1996.
· Covarrubias, Jorge. Manual de Técnicas de Redacción Periodística, Associated Press, New York, NY. 1996.
Gerardo Reyes, Periodismo
de Investigacion, EditorialTrillas, 1996.
· Gerardo Reyes, Periodismo de Investigacion, EditorialTrillas, 1996.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, All
the President’s Men.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, All the President’s Men.
Steve Weinberg, The Reporter’s Handbook, an Investigator’s Guide to Documents and Techniques, Bedford/St Martin’s, 1996.
Other required reading:
· The New York Times
· ListenNPR “Morning Edition” (6am-10am), "Fresh Air" (8 pm) and “All Things Considered” (4 pm-6 pm) 91.3 FM.