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Investigative Journalism: Start Here

Real investigative journalism is hard work, there is nothing magic involved, but there are lots of clever techniques.

Join Investigative Reporters & Editors

Ask for information on the student membership. Publishes The IRE Journal.
Highly recommended is IRE’s The Reporter’s Handbook: An Investigator’s Guide to Documents & Techniques, (NY: St. Martins, updated periodically). IRA also collects information on how to conduct specific types of investigations based on actual projects by members and hosts annual & regional conferences.

Investigative Reporters & Editors
138 Neff Annex
Missouri School of Journalism
Columbia, MO. 65211

Purchase the book Get the Facts on Anyone, 3rd ed. which explains how to use public sources to check the background of any person or organization, by Dennis King, (New York: Macmillan; Arco, 1999).

Use the Freedom of Information Act:

The Freedom of Information Act applies only to document held by federal agencies. Guides can be found at:

Use State Open Records and Sunshine Laws

These vary by state, so refer to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press’ guide to what information is available in which states:  http://www.rcfp.org/

Local branches of the American Civil Liberties Union often have information on (or even guides to) using the state laws.

Join the National Writers Union!

113 University Pl. 6th Fl.          
New York, NY 10003
Voice: (212) 254-0279


Take the Summer Program at Z Media Institute






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