Tony Collins Talks Investigative Journalism

Tony Collins @ Elevenses

I’m at our second Elevenses event at RBI. Tony Collins is talking about investigative journalism. Some key points to follow:

  • You have to build trust with contacts – and that can mean not running stories instially to build the relationship
  • It’s not a 9 to 5 job – contacts will often need to talk to you out of hours – and beware phone records that can expose your relationship
  • Keep close to the subs working on your story – don’t let them rewrite in a way that removes vital nuances.
  • Don’t overstate the case – and beware of coming over as the journalist stereotypes, as that can undermine your credibility in readers’ eyes
  • His blog is invaluable – the number of tip-offs he gets as a result exceeds his ability to cope with them
  • Forums can be an invaluable source of stories or information from them – and you can ask for information
  • Don’t be a repositary for secrets – we’re paid to write not to know things. Persuade them  – work with them – to get their permission to publish

Only a taster of course. I’m not giving away everything Tony had to say. 🙂