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Digging deeper : reflecting on the development and teaching of investigative journalism in a university setting in the United Kingdom

O'Neill, Eamonn (2011) Digging deeper : reflecting on the development and teaching of investigative journalism in a university setting in the United Kingdom. In: Investigative Journalism. Abramis Academic Publishing, Suffolk, UK, pp. 291-307. ISBN 978 1 84549 490

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Abstract

This chapter examines the development and teaching of investigative journalism within the setting of a UK university. The roots of the genre and definition of the term “investigative journalism” are explored with particular reference to an interview with the renowned US reporter, the late Bob Greene. It reflects on the steps taken by the author, who is course director of a Master’s degree in Investigative Journalism at a major Scottish university, to establish the degree; attract applicants; adjust course content as feedback emerged; and aim to balance theoretical academic study with imparting practical skills. The chapter also touches on several examples from the author’s own professional background working on investigations for all platforms both nationally and internationally. Responses to a questionnaire set by the author to a selection of the current (2010-2011) class of students who are studying on the Master’s course are included to reflect individual critical reflections on their own experiences and career aspirations in light of their studying for this advanced degree.