Investigative Reporting: From Premise to Publication, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Investigative Reporting

From Premise to Publication, 2nd Edition

By Marcy Burstiner


260 pages

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pub: 2018-06-28
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Investigative Reporting provides a step-by-step approach for tackling any investigative story, teaching reporters the skills they need to overcome common obstacles during investigative work. Experienced reporter and instructor, Marcy Burstiner offers readers guidance on how to identify story ideas, craft a premise, seek out human sources and documents, file public records requests, and analyze data. Including tips and advice from student and professional reporters, this comprehensive textbook also offers strategies for conducting interviews and for organizing information into a compelling story or series of stories that engage the reader through multimedia storytelling.

Highlights of the new edition include:

  • Updated examples and anatomies of news stories.
  • Extensive discussion of data reporting and analysis for investigative projects.
  • Guidance on how to request public records using state public records acts and how to appeal denials of public records requests.
  • Instruction on the use of free, collaborative tools for organizing, sharing and analyzing information.
  • A new chapter on creating a fact-checking system.
  • A section on careers in investigative journalism.
  • Interviews with student investigative reporters from colleges across the country, with professional investigative reporters from non-profit news organizations, emerging journalistic outlets and advocacy publications, and with staff and freelance reporters who produce stories for mainstream radio, television, print and online news organizations.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Finding the Story

Chapter 3 - Setting Up the Investigation

Chapter 4 - Public Records

Chapter 5 - The Game Plan

Chapter 6 - The Interview Process

Chapter 7 - Analyzing the Big Story

Chapter 8 - Documenting the Story

Chapter 9 - Finding and Using Data

Chapter 10 - Shaping the Story

Chapter 11 - Writing the Story

Chapter 12 - Legal and Ethical Considerations

Chapter 13 - Advanced Reporting Methods

Chapter 14 - Pitching the Story

About the Author

Marcy Burstiner is professor of journalism and mass communication at Humboldt State University where she teaches beginning and investigative reporting and advises the student newspaper. She is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS), and co-founder of the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights.

She jumped into her professional journalism career as an assistant editor for The Multinational Monitor, a non-profit magazine founded by Ralph Nader. Before joining the faculty at Humboldt State, she was an assistant managing editor for financial magazine The Deal and a senior writer for the online financial news site, In 2014, the California Newspaper Publishers Association awarded her best column in a weekly newspaper for a monthly media column she has written for the North Coast Journal in Eureka, Calif. since 2006. She is a graduate of Union College and the Columbia University School of Journalism.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies


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