Investigative Reporting Seminar

Investigative Reporting in Print, Broadcast and the Web


This seminar is an introduction to tricks of the trade, occupational hazards, sources and guides to help navigate the field of watchdog reporting. In the fall 2016 semester, the seminar is being co-taught by IRP managing editor John Temple and reporter Abbie VanSickle.

The class is both an introduction to the theory and practice of investigative reporting as well as an opportunity for students to gain practical experience working collaboratively on major, in-depth reporting projects. That opportunity is provided primarily by the ongoing projects at the IRP, notably documentaries with PBS Frontline and other broadcast and print outlets. The seminar will expose students to potential sources and practitioners of the craft as well as to discussions and debate on exactly what we mean by “investigative reporting.” Last year, students met a wide variety of valuable sources: a judge, a hedge fund manager, a District Attorney, senior FBI and DEA agents, informants, private detectives, and libel lawyers. Some of the nation’s top investigative journalists also stopped by the seminar. Historically, the program has emphasized producing news on all platforms using a collaborative model.

The only way to learn investigative reporting is to do it. But doing it is always more productive if you have a guide.

—Lowell Bergman, Frontline Producer and Correspondent

Share This