"At a time when media landscapes are rapidly changing, journalism today needs to clearly show its added value for public interest."
From the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this casebook is designed to serve as a knowledge resource, providing a learning opportunity for journalists and media professionals, as well as for journalism trainers and educators. It will also be used by UNESCO field offices to conduct training courses in investigative reporting. It contains more than 20 investigative stories from around the world, covering a wide variety of topical subjects such as freedom of information, good governance, social and legal issues, the environment, health, and gender. Each article is accompanied by an explanation of how the authors conducted their research and wrote their pieces. Many of the authors belong to the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN).
In the words of the casebook's editor: "I've taught thousands of journalists by now, and I never met one who could not make a discovery on his or her own. But I've seen plenty who were incapable of keeping track of their data and turning it into a great story. Beginners think this job is all about finding secrets, and the rest takes care of itself....Pros, like the ones in this collection, know that it's about managing the logistics and finishing the job. The contributors here will tell you how they did that. Each article in this anthology is also preceded by a brief introduction....In general, I wanted stories that would exemplify different approaches in terms of research and writing, as well as different genres of investigation. In the process of collecting stories, on a couple of occasions I found stories that attacked the same subject - for example, the traffic in human beings - from the perspective of a project team, or an individual effort, and focused on different aspects of the subject. Or, I found stories that used similar techniques, such as archival research, to strikingly different ends. The final selection tries to make use of those coincidences, because to me they show that there are various ways of doing any subject, and one of them will correspond to the passions and resources at your disposal."
UNESCO supports initiatives to strengthen investigative journalism throughout the world, which the organisation believes is crucial for freedom of expression and freedom of information. In that light, the casebook aims to enable and enhance the exchange of good practices and networking in investigative journalism worldwide.
UNESCO's Communication and Information (CI) Sector CI Weekly Newsletter, September 21 2012.