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Global Investigative Journalism

Fall 2011 Class Schedule

This is a detailed look at this course, the required and beyond, week by week. It is subject to change and circumstances will almost require that; all updates to the schedule will be electronically accessible on the official Fall 2011, Blackboard site for COMM-535-005. Besides the two required books for the course, all assigned bookchapters and possibly other materials will be available on the Blackboard site. To be clear, you should come to class prepared, having done your class assignments by the date posted below. Also recommended are online resources or printed excerpts with which, at the very least, you should have a working, conversational familiarity.

Date | Topic | Assignments | Recommended |
August 29 |Global Investigative Journalism intro; plus course logistics (incl. questionnaire) | | Familiarize yourself with the recent winning entries for the Pulitzer Prize ( for investigative or explanatory journalism; recent IRE award winners (, and Peabody Award ( winners |
September 5(Labor Day) | No class. | Email or return your completed questionnaireto my faculty mailbox in MGC 300 | |
September 12 | The history of U.S. investigative reporting and an introduction to the fundamentals and techniques of investigative reporting | Read Muckraking! The Journalism That Changed America, by Judith and William Serrin (388 pages)Related interview video excerpts from the “Investigating Power” work-in-progress |; www.; |
September 19 | Discussion of the new technologies and how that has opened up international investigative reporting; Also, a look at the new global networks of investigative journalists todaySecond half of class devoted to story meeting, in which each student in the class describes the investigative idea he/sheis developing for the final project assignment. | Watch the Oscar-nominated movie, All the President’s MenAlso read the 62-page monograph, Crossing Borders Opening Doors: Selected articles from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Center for Public Integrity: 2005); for case study purposes, pay particular attention to the Tobacco project reporting here and on the Web site, For further insight into global networks, review And also and | Read The Meaning of the 21st Century, by James Martin (Riverhead Books: 2007). Pages x-80 (Preface, Chapters 1-4). Martin is a visionary who wrote The Wired Society in the mid-1970s, literally predicting theInformation Age. Oxford University now has created the Oxford Martin School for the 21st century.Close Encounters:Lowell Bergman’s 4th Annual Logan Symposium on Investigative Reporting, April 2010. Click here for the “New Initiatives” panel featuring Julian Assange, Charles Lewis and others: |
September 26 | Investigating human rightsissuesGuest speaker:Margaret Ebrahim, former ABC News, CBS News 60 Minutes II and HDNet (for Dan Rather) producer, now Senior Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University. Her bio and contact info are here: | Read excerpts of Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age by Alasdair Roberts(Cambridge University Press: 2006), pp. 1-81ABC News Prime Time Live, 1998, “Blood Money” (about the black market organ trade from executed Chinese prisoners); Read about Nate Thayer and his exclusive interview with Khmer Rouge genocidal despot Pol Pot in Johns Hopkins Magazine | By this date, every student should have talked with me one-on-one about his/her reporting assignmentBBC News Panorama,...
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