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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds So what and who should journalists look for as they investigate a news story? OK. So what should journalists look for? I mean, at the end of the day, you have to always start with the basics. If you get a news tip, then that it’s OK, what do we need to find out here? And where are good places to start? You always ask the stupid questions. You ask the obvious questions. You ask the tough questions. Then you might hit some roadblocks once you get those details. And we’re in a whole different world to when I first started out in journalism. And I know I look very young, but I’ll tell you, I’ve been in this for a while. Just kidding.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 seconds But you’re in a world where you’ve got the internet at your hands. You’ve got social media. You’ve got a number of tools available to you. You can find stories faster than we ever could before. So you have to, when you hit those roadblocks, you have to be creative and inventive. There’s something called Freedom of Information requests that we use here. I can’t remember if it’s the same term in Scotland. That might be a way that you have to unearth information. You’ve got to learn how to use these tools that are available to you. Or you turn to data journalism, for example. There’s so many different ways to tell a story now and sometimes you can just tell it through numbers.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds And I think the key with the investigation work that you can do, you’ve got to keep at it. You’ve got to be smart about it. And one of the key things that we do, again citing the case that I just referred to there, we had daily meetings. We had daily calls. Probably every few hours we were touching base with our journalists, just talking about where they were in the story. Because every turn you take, something new comes up and you’ve got to address it as you go along. So communication with your management team, fellow journalists, is absolutely key. And one of the best places to start is it good brainstorming session. What are we hoping to achieve here?

Skip to 1 minute and 55 seconds What could we find out? What do we do if this transpires? But one of the key things that we say here is follow the facts. Just find out where the facts take you and that’s going to lead you to your story. But you’ve got to work really hard at it and take any advice that your management team may have.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds So what and who should journalists look for as they investigate a news story? What and who should they be looking for? Well again, I’m going to keep it basic because I think that obviously, you’re always looking for the facts of the story. But, what’s the background to the facts? And you’ll not always get it given to you from the person you’re interviewing. You really have to learn to dig and dig deep. You’ve got you ask, well, who’s got these facts? And you approach them. Or approach them through some agency, depending what the story is. And you’ve got to remember this as a journalist of course, be it on any media, whatever you write, it’s not going to please everybody.

Skip to 3 minutes and 8 seconds So don’t think you’re going to please all. There’s some people who’ll be upset about what you write.

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Introduction to Journalism

University of Strathclyde