Copyright

Investigative Journalism: Definition & Examples Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Opinion Writing Lesson Plan

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What Is Investigative…
  • 1:41 Investigative…
  • 2:18 Investigative…
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Summer Stewart

Summer has taught creative writing and sciences at the college level. She holds an MFA in Creative writing and a B.A.S. in English and Nutrition

Journalism has many branches, including investigative journalism. In this lesson, we learn the ins and outs of this intense form of journalism, while examining several examples.

What Is Investigative Journalism?

Imagine spending two years working as an executive assistant for a CEO to determine if corruption is brewing in the company. That's what an investigative journalist might do if they felt it was the right thing.

Investigative journalists dig deep and they work to expose the underbellies of crimes, corruption, and more. Let's dive deep into the topic of investigative journalism, and learn about its scope through some examples.

Investigative journalism is a type of journalism that uncovers what others don't want uncovered. Investigative journalism is also called watchdog journalism. An investigative journalist digs deep into one story, whether it be corporate financial corruption, violent crime, or other topics that might not get covered in everyday news.

One of the main goals of investigative journalism is to spur change. An investigative journalist might spend four years following a politician and uncovering a money laundering crime to protect the people from electing a criminal.

Then again, simpler forms of investigative journalism provide citizens with news stories via television networks and newspapers, but isn't the everyday sort of news. It may be a local grocery story that is prejudiced toward hiring the elderly or a school failing to support students with special needs.

Underneath the umbrella term of investigative journalism is interpretive reporting, which is a type of investigative journalism that evaluates the consequences of certain events or actions.

Keep in mind, however, that investigative journalism is not leak journalism, which is when a reporter releases sensitive documents to the public without any further research into the documents.

Investigative Journalism Resources

Investigative journalists use a variety of resources to learn more about the topic they are investigating. Reporters will use information from interviews, public records, legal and tax reports, and other federal resources.

Journalists use standard undercover work when there isn't enough information in databases or when sources aren't willing to come forward. Usually a combination of these different methods is used to build a strong case.

It's important to note that an investigative reporter doesn't acquire sensitive material just to publish it. Instead, they use the information to write and publish a coherent and fact-based article or book.

Investigative Journalism Examples

Investigative journalism takes on all sorts of topics. Let's look at few true-life examples of investigative journalism.

In 2017, journalist Eric Eyre won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for his report on opioid overdoses in West Virginia. Over a series of three reports for the Charleston Gazette-Mail in 2016, he demonstrated how the pills were getting into the state and causing so many deaths. It turned out that pharmaceutical companies were providing far too many pills to pharmacies in the poorest counties of West Virginia, which led to a vicious cycle of pill usage and deaths.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support