The purpose of this course is to teach you how to do stories that can make a difference — how to find them, report them, and write them; and how to empower your readers to dig even deeper by using online tools. You will learn this by doing investigative pieces. This course also will acquaint you with some of this country’s best investigative reporters.
An essential part of investigative reporting cannot be taught — passion for your subject. This is entirely up to you. If you don’t care about something, we strongly suggest you get out of this course. By the same token, if you are interested in preserving the status quo, this course has nothing to offer you. By its very nature, investigative reporting involves challenging the status quo on behalf of the little guy — comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. It is not about attending meetings or covering speeches. It is about doing the story that no one else will do.
Craig Flournoy was a longtime investigative reporter for The Dallas Morning News, where he won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting and was a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting. Other awards include the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Medal for Outstanding Investigative Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Reporting, and the Edward J. Meeman Award for Environmental Reporting.
Jake Batsell completed numerous beat-based investigations while working as a staff writer for The Seattle Times and The Dallas Morning News. He investigated accounting misdeeds at a publicly traded sportswear company, prompted an FDA inquiry by revealing nutritional fraud at a regional baked goods company, and won the 2005 Award for Excellence in Economic Journalism from The Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C.