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Journalism 120 Investigative Reporting Notes

by: Nicole Henriksson

Journalism 120 Investigative Reporting Notes Journalism 120

Marketplace > University of California Berkeley > Journalism > Journalism 120 > Journalism 120 Investigative Reporting Notes
Nicole Henriksson


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About this Document

These notes cover the lectures from the 2016 summer course with Carl T. Hall.
Investigative Reporting
Carl T Hall
journalism, Journalism120, LectureNotes, investigativereporting
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This 9 page Bundle was uploaded by Nicole Henriksson on Tuesday August 9, 2016. The Bundle belongs to Journalism 120 at University of California Berkeley taught by Carl T Hall in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Investigative Reporting in Journalism at University of California Berkeley.


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Date Created: 08/09/16
J120: Investigative Reporting 07/11/2016 ▯ Week 2 / Lecture 4 ▯ Words matter—sheriff and police are different agencies  Sheriff is county, position is elected  Police is city, village etc., appointed ▯ Investigative journalist job: take one case and expose the larger issue  2 Shots about relationship abuse by law enforcement  Watergate about power ▯ Text message sent  Don’t know who sent the message, all you know is which two numbers it was between ▯ Relationships matter, have to know the right people to get around subjects who do not want to talk ▯ Investigative reporting: going against someone’s desire to keep it a secret  How do you reveal something people don’t want people to know: o Looking for the records ▯ Week 2 / Lecture 5 ▯ Read Drugging Our Kids for guest speaker ▯ Documents are undeniable  one piece of paper can make the story  file FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) for information ▯ Week 2 / Lecture 6 ▯ Guest Speaker: Karen de Sa ▯ ▯ youth incarcerated, ill-treated in foster care system ▯ series have been about 3 years one more installment 4 part and documentary first time newspaper produced full length film These drugs aren’t always approved by the FDA but also they don’t have a parent advocating for them or with medical records and family history ▯ Good things about this story  Created a database—hard to dispute statistical findings  Individual characters bring the story alive, not the charts ▯ Ethical dilemmas ▯ Connections led her to certain people to talk to as the crucial characters of this story ▯ Power of emotion, images, voice drove the story ▯ Cant control what happens with sources ▯ Week 2 / Lecture 7 ▯ Guest speaker AC Thompson Next Tuesday ▯ Public Records/Documents  Send FIOAS and CA public records requests  Also build trust to collect sources and information Karen de Se  Leveraging experience (from Beat Reporting to Investigation)  Thinking it through  What are the motives?  Where’s the data? Primary Document: individual, institutions, issues People Trial: finding, developing and evaluating sources Taxonomy of sources Break into groups ▯ ▯ Week 3 / Lecture 8 ▯ Assignments: Read A.C. Thompson story, read Seymour, textbook chapter 4 ▯ ▯ Google doc with restaurants answer each question, also write a narrative report on a google doc ▯ LLC: limited liability company basic structure ▯ To find the company that owns the restaurant:  Secretary of State Business records:  Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)  (can not assume it is correct)  ▯ Get two numbers: sec of state entity number and abc number ▯ ▯ Agent for service is a contact name, usually a lawyer ▯ Berkeley restaurants: have to make public records request, but have to abide by CA law ▯ ▯ Week 3 / Lecture 9 ▯ ▯ Terror in Little Saigon: An Old War Comes to a New Country-A.C. Thompson  Conspiracy with political aim in mind  Terrorism  Campaign of murder to oppose the communist régime o National United Front for the Liberation of Vietnam ▯ Assignment: discussion on b-courses post and respond ▯ ▯ Second half of class go to Berkeley restaurants for project ▯ ▯ Week 3 / Lecture 10 ▯ Pop quiz ▯ ▯ Court and law enforcement records  What you wont get from the cops: o Arrest reports o Interrogation transcripts o Investigator’s notes o Intelligence reports o Complaints against individual police offices o Internal affairs reports o Disciplinary outcomes  What you can get o Name of cops involved in Officer involved shootings o Salaries—from employing government agency o The department operation, or field manual o Dispatch records showing call for service to and from a particular location ▯ ▯ Week 3 / Lecture 11 ▯ Guest speaker Steve Fisher ▯ ▯ ▯ Assignments:  Narratives on Berkeley restaurants due Friday 7/21 at 6PM ▯ ▯ Law enforcement and police records continued:  Cops need a warrant from a judge  Affidavit: a declaration in writing made upon oat before a person authorized to administer oaths, especially for use as evidence in court  Probable cause: reasonable grounds for belief ▯ ▯ ▯ Week 4 / Lecture 12 ▯ Mistakes  Be accurate and truthful  When you make a mistake o Own up to it o Fix damage as best as you can o Move on  Types of Errors o Names, numbers and dates o False precision o Complex concepts: risk, chance, percentage change, double negatives o Brain freezes o Tricksters (bad sources, spellcheckers, pals, clips, old books, interpretations…)  Make a checklist to avoid mistakes o Ask: clear? Obvious follow up? o Get it down: Is it in your notes? o Documents: Any missing? File system? o Assume anything? What do I “know”? o The Best Source Rule ▯ ▯ Week 4 / Lecture 13 Go to Berkeley restaurants during class ▯ Week 4 / Lecture 14 ▯ Guest Speaker ▯ ▯ 3 narratives due Thursday 7/27 ▯ ▯ Week 4 / Lecture 15  News o New and relevant o What a news professional says it is  The context of this story makes it news worthy o If Oakland, SF etc. did not give records it would lessen the results of Berkeley ▯ Assignments:  Due Monday fill in new columns on spreadsheet on restaurants  Due Tuesday short paper on reading  Next Thursday course evaluations bring laptop ▯ Week 5 / Lecture 16 Extra credit (need approval) due before class next Tuesday ▯ Option 1: Interview someone with information and credibility that aids our project 10 pts. ▯ Option 2: Go to more restaurants, 2 pts. each up to 5 places for 10 pts. ▯ Option 3: Something to complement the project, map, data visualization etc. ▯ ▯ If something is not at Sec of State look for  fictitious business name o  county  city  rental properties  court cases ▯ ▯ ▯ Week 5 / Lecture 17  Hersh reported when no one else would to uncover army secrets  The word “babies” helped this story become so powerful  Very good at protecting sources  The record belongs to the journalists  Hersh wasn’t afraid he was motivated ▯ ▯ Week 5 / Lecture 18  Make a plan o Elevator version o Find someone who is willing to pay o It takes time money and travel  AP style for Journalism world ▯ ▯ Possible ledes for story: Berkeley restaurants show resistance to follow CA health department law in comparison to other Bay Area establishments. ▯ ▯ Week 6 / Lecture 21 Manager of Berkeley health department interview ▯ Week 6 / Lecture 22 ▯ Guest speaker A.C. Thompson author/investigator of Terror in Little Saigon


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