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Investigative Journalism Essays

Rajashri Venkatesh Ameet Kaur Abhishek Baldota Avinash Kaur Bedi Kawaljeet Singh Chandhok Divya Chitroda Shilpa Das Aakash Prabhakar Kashish Kapoor ` An investigative report is a document that is meant to provide information on a certain topic that is not easily obtained. It is meant to present the reader with a wealth of easily understood information and usually contains an interview or two on the subject. In order to write a successful investigative report, one must conduct a substantial amount of research and provide the reader with a wealth of information o that he or she can make an informed choice. ` Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Investigative journalism is a primary source of information. Most investigative journalism is done by newspapers, wire services and freelance journalists. Practitioners sometimes use the terms “watchdog journalism” or “accountability reporting. ” ` ` Investigative Journalists can be traced back to the 9th century and began their works in New York when an forgery and bribe case was uncovered by journalists of the New York Times They became influential throughout the world during the World War 1 and became famous as muckrakes or ? watchdog journalists?. The Process ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` First Lead, Tip or Hunch Sniff Form an Investigative Hypothesis Follow the Investigative Trail: Paper, People and Electronic Trails A Organize information Fill in the Gaps: More data or interviews Write the Report Fact Check Libel Check- PEOPLE TRAIL ` In the recent past may be for a span of 3 years, the impact of investigative journalism is intense in
India. People remember days when they closely followed the activities of terrorists during November 26, 2008 Mumbai attack. Media turned out to be an eye opener for several ordinary citizens . Public can closely follow several issues. This is a stupendous improvement perhaps investigative journalism is taking a tweak in its favour most times. ` ` ` ` The exposure of scams and fraud cases of the Government The alertness amongst common people due to in depth investigation of major issues like 26/11 attacks or the 13/7 triple blasts in Mumbai. The dependency on media to know what the latest facts and stories are.
Investigative stories focus on issues that are in accordance to the issues that can make a difference to the society in any which way possible ` ` ` Investigations and reports have led to many movements like the protest demanding the Lokpal Bill passed by the government. The common people would not have been alerted about the corruption and the scams cracked by investigative journalism, leading to these movements. The information is usually very accurate as the investigation carried out is kept secretive and in the interest of the common people against super powers like politicians and system. ` ` `
Passion- Mostly investigative journalism is a thankless endeavour, time- and energy-consuming, that will get your editor impatient and powerful people annoyed with you. One has to be really passionate towards then investigation. Curiosity- Asking questions is where investigative journalism starts. The questions can be about events in the news, or about things you see or hear about in your day-to-day life. Initiative- Many newsrooms operate on limited resources and all run on tight deadlines. So an investigative idea you mention at a news conference won¶t always be instantly adopted, particularly if it is un-formed and vague.
One needs to take the initiative, do his own preliminary checking and shape the idea into a solid story plan ` Logical thinking, organisation and self-disciplineInvestigative reporting takes time and, because of the legal risks it often carries, must be verified down to the smallest detail. So you need to become a careful planner to make the best use of your time, and obsessive about checking and rechecking everything you discover, and making sure your story fits together. ` Flexibility- An investigation can take unexpected turns. Sometimes the question you began by asking turns out o be a dead-end, or opens the door on another, far more interesting but less obvious question. You need to be prepared to rethink and redesign your research when this happens, and not stay wedded to your first ideas. ` ` ` Team working and communication skills- Very often the best stories come out of a cooperative effort that uses all the available skills in (and even outside) the newsroom. An investigative story may call upon knowledge of anything from science and health to economics and sociology, and no one journalist, however strong their general knowledge, can be an expert in all these.
Hence teamwork is a key Well-developed reporting skills- One should need enough of either training or experience, or both, to know how to identify sources, plan story research, conduct good interviews (and sense when an answer doesn¶t ring true), and write accurately and informatively. You also need to know when you are out of your depth, and have the humility to ask for advice or help. Broad general knowledge and good research skillsUnderstanding the context of your investigation can help you avoid dead-ends and spot relevant facts and questions.
But if your investigation takes you into an unfamiliar area, you must be able to familiarise yourself with at least the background, conventions, terminology, role-players and issues of that area quickly. ` ` Determination and patience- Investigative reporting will bring you up against all kinds of obstacles, from sources who disappear and records that don¶t exist, to editors who want to can the story because it is taking too long or costing too much. Only your own motivation and belief that it is a worthwhile story will carry you through what is often a slow process of discovery.
Courage- It isn¶t only subjects and sources that are at risk. Reporters may be threatened with legal action or violence, jailed, or even assassinated for their investigations. In the face of these risks, you may succumb to pressure and censor yourself. You need to believe in what you¶re doing, have the courage to carry on ` ` ` ` ` ` ` Bofurs Gun Scandal The Fodder Scam The Jain Diary Case(1996) Satyendra Dubey Murder Case Operation Westend 2002 Gujarat Riots Jessica Lall Case ` ` ` ` ` ` ` Cement Quota scam(1981) Reliance scam (1987- Indian Express) Shakti Kapoor casting couch Money for Vote sting operation
Adarsh Housing Society scandal Stamp paper scam Harshad Mehta scandal 1980¶s ` ` ` ` ` Nagarwala scandal (Rs 60 lakh) Cement Scam involving A R Antulay(Rs 30 crore) Bofors Scandal St Kitts forgery[ Kuo oil scandal (Rs 2. 2 crore) 1990¶s ` ` ` ` ` Palmolein Oil Import Scam, Kerala Harshad Mehta securities scam (Rs 5000 crore) Purulia arms drop case Bihar fodder scam Sukh Ram telecom equipment scandal 2000¶s ` ` ` ` ` ` ` Ketan Parekh securities scam Barak Missile scandal Stamp paper scam Kerala ice cream parlour sex scandal Cash for Vote Scandal The Satyam scam Madhu Koda mining scam 2010- now ` ` ` ` ` ` ` 2G spectrum scam and Radia tapes controversy Adarsh Housing Society scam Commonwealth Games scam LIC housing loan scam Belekeri port scam Uttar Pradesh food grain scam Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation controversy Indian Premier League scandal ` Operation Westend- Operation West End was a sting operation aimed to expose the corruption underlying India’s large defence contracts. The original investigative piece by Tehelka in 2001 targeted several members of the then ruling coalition, the National Democratic Alliance. It showed several political figures, as well as rmy top brass, colluding to take bribes that approached 4% of orders totalling hundreds of crores in order to approve defence contracts. Tehelka also accused the MoD officials of accepting alcohol and services of the prostitutes, although the journal itself was criticised for the procurement of prostitutes. ` ` ` Indeed, in September 2001, Tehelka’s editor-in-chief, Tarun Tejpal, was charged with “immoral trafficking” for offering prostitutes to the MoD officials during the sting operation. The minister in charge of Defence, George Fernandes of the Samata Party, resigned after the tapes were made public, but he was reinstated later.
Part of the tapes show the treasurer of his party talking about accepting bribes of 1 crore or more from arms dealer ex-Naval officer Lt-Cmdr Suresh Nanda, son of ex-Chief of Naval Staff Admiral S. M. Nanda. However, George Fernandes was later absolved from this as even the CBI under UPA couldn’t find any tangible evidence against him. Initially the government, instead of acting on the evidence, accused Tehelka of fabricating allegations. However, five years later, in October 2006, the Central Bureau of Investigationfiled charges against George Fernandes, former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sushil Kumar, and others in the Barak missile case, laiming that there was reasonable basis to suspect corruption and criminal conspiracy. In March 2008, the Nandas were arrested. Fernandes was interrogated in May 2008. The weekly Tehelka Tarun Tejpal and his team led the investigation for the Operation Westend. ` Jessica Lall Case- Tehelka carried out a sting operation ` following Manu Sharma’s release. This uncovered details of the witness coercion process, and alleged that money was being paid directly from Venod Sharmas offices to some of the witnesses. Venod Sharma was directly mentioned by several people, such as a friend of the (now expired) eyewitness Karan
Rajput. The Truth: Gujarat 2002-The Truth: Gujarat 2002 was an extensive report on the 2002 Gujarat violence published in its 7 November 2007 issue, was based on a six-month long investigation and involved sting operations. It alleged that the violence was due to the connivance of the state police as well as the Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi. The sting operation once again led to partisan criticism and raised questions on journalistic ethic Cash for Vote Scam This scandal was uncovered following a sting operation ` Aniruddha Bahal ` Suhasini Raj ` Rashmi Singh ` Tarun Tejpal ` Parivesh Vatsyayan

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