Investigative journalism is not easy. Actually, it has often been argued that investigative journalism is the hardest form of journalism. In effect, this means that the path of investigative journalism is one that has lots of pitfalls. In today’s blog post, we will be looking at the three major ones: that is, the three major pitfalls you need to avoid as an investigative journalist.
The first major pitfall that you need to avoid, as an investigative journalist, is that of being compromised financially. We have seen many investigative journalists fall into this trap: sometimes to a point where they are reduced to regularly accepting bribes in order to do ‘dirty stories’ on certain personalities.
The second major pitfall that you need to avoid, as an investigative journalist, is that of intimidation. Intimidation can take the form of crude threats. Alternatively, it can take the form of blackmail. By using common-sense approaches to personal security, you can get yourself to a point where you wouldn’t be prone to intimidation. On the other hand, it is imperative for you to ensure that you avoid the sorts of things that would make you to be prone to blackmail.
And the third major pitfall that you need to avoid, as an investigative journalist, is that of needless sensationalism. This means that you need to focus on investigative stories that genuinely educate the people and open their eyes: not on stories that feed idle curiosity or stories whose value is only in their sensationalism.