Here’s a few quite useful articles and websites about investigative reporting going online.
Online investigative journalism is an article written by Australian journalism professor Alan Knight already in 2001 about how investigative journalism can develop by making use of more advanced online research methods and searching for information from the internet.
How investigative reporting makes use of the internet is an article in the British Guardian by Mercedes Bunz, listing some examples how reporters have started to use the internet to get hints from the public or to ask their audience for help with checking facts.
Paul Bradshaw is an online journalist and blogger who is writing a book about investigative journalism in the age of internet. Here’s an extract from one of his book chapters about how investigative journalism found its feet online.
How investigative journalism is prospering in the age of social media by Vadim Lavrusik is an interesting article with lots of embedded images about the latest trends of distributed reporting, community-sourced mapping, investigative networks, and other ways how reporters in the US and UK have been making use of the social media for their news stories.
Angolan deportee See how the investigative reporters at the Guardian were using Twitter to get help from their readers in reporting about the death of Jimmy Mubenga who was to be deported from the UK to Angola but died after very brutal treatment by his guards on a British Airways plane.
BAE Files The same Guardian did a very good job in investigating the corrupted arms trade deals with the British arms company BAE Systems and Tanzania and Saudi Arabia. Everything has been published online with links, photos of original documents, videos, and explanations how the investigations were done.
Wikileaks is of course a huge online source for information on political stories in almost every country that has a US Embassy. From this page you should be able to find all 663 diplomatic cable reports sent from the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam between January 2005 to February 2010 about often secret discussions held between Tanzanian officials or individuals and US diplomatic staff. The revelations that the government anti-corruption chief was afraid for his life can be found here.
Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) This South Africa-based organization provides lots of resources about investigative reporting: practical manuals, tip sheets, trauma support, and info about upcoming investigative journalism conferences. On the front page, you can find some examples of the best investigative stories from several African countries.
Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) is an American investigative news organization that publishes investigative stories online, both stories by their own staff and stories produced by other journalists and news organizations. The website also has a Reporter Tools section, a free and comprehensive how-to-get-started package for wannabe investigative reporters. It’s basically meant for American reporters, but can include useful tips for anyone interested in more in-depth reporting. One of the first links, for example, takes you to a short guide on how to make reluctant people loosen their lips.