The course looks at cross-border issues such as crime, corruption, environmental destruction, the flow of money, goods and people. It places an emphasis on research methods using digital research, public records and databases to find stories, as well as covering interview and writing techniques. Students get the chance to do some of their own reporting.
Investigative Journalism in a Global World Class Summer 2010
Last summer, the course was highly successful. Two journalists from Nepal, Baburam Bishwakarma and Jhak Pun Magar, were among those who attended.
Bishwakarma is a Senior Correspondent for Shishak Monthly, a magazine for teachers in Nepal. A journalist for more than ten years, he also works as a trainer and investigative journalist associated with the Centre For Investigative Journalism in Nepal.
Bishwakarma took the JMSC summer MAP course to help him to shift his focus from everyday journalism to investigative work.
“Basically, I learnt what investigative journalism is,” said Bishwakarma.
“The concept of investigative journalism, its importance/impact, tools and techniqes were all effectively taught. Some of the best examples of investigative journalism were also presented during the class. I came to know how to do good investigative reporting, and the course helped me to be able to make my identity as an investigative journalist.”
As a result of the course, Bishwakarma and Pun wrote a report on a human trafficking ring out of Nepal. It was published in Himal Magazine, one of the best news magazines available in the country. The Nepali Times also printed their story, which you can read here, as did Everest Weekly in Hong Kong.
“Our story has contributed to a change in government policy,” said Bishwakarma. “It has also had a big impact. The culprit that was identitified by our story is now in hiding and the victims are in the process of getting justice.”
Jhak Pun Magar
Jhak Pun Magar, co-author of the article and course co-ordinator at the Investigative Journalism Training section of the Centre For Investigative Journalism, has worked as a journalist for sixteen years, but was seeking to learn new techniques in investigative journalism.
“I learned new techniques and trends in investigative journalism,” he said. “After the course, we wrote the article and also conducted our own training on investigative journalism in Nepal through the Centre For Investigative Journalism. 24 countrywide senior reporters are completing investigative stories of their own under my mentoring.”
“The course gives hands-on practice of the use of public documents, and advanced computer-assisted reporting techniques, which are helpful in probing issues of public interest,” said Chan Pui King, one of the course teachers. “Journalists who want to polish their reporting skills and especially those whose eye is on cross-border issues will find this course useful.”
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