Journalistic Research and Investigation: A Practical Course

Academic Program: 

Instructor: Marius Dragomir

Credits: 2.0

Course description: Elective course; Media and Communication Specialization for MPA 2Y students

This is a distinctly practical course aimed at engaging students into a journalistic research and investigation project whose end-result will be an in-depth report that will be published on the online platforms of the Center for Media, Data & Society (CMDS) and shared with the media organizations with which the center is partnering across the world (some of them are expected to republish parts of the report or the entire work). The project will also explore the potential for policy recommendations related to the topic covered by the project. 

The course will introduce students to the basics of investigative journalism, focusing on research and data gathering techniques. It will also offer an introduction to journalistic writing and discuss some of the key ethical considerations that journalists should keep in mind when they do their work. 

Learning outcomes: 

By having this journalism experience, students will familiarize themselves with some of the key techniques and rules used in producing journalistic output. The course is by no means designed to prepare students for a career in journalism, but rather to stimulate their critical thinking, spur their intellectual and creative curiosity and encourage them to engage in incisive writing and analysis.

On a more general level, the course will give students an understanding of the practicalities behind the journalistic investigation from the stage of topic selection to the publication phase when the journalistic report enters the public domain. This understanding can be useful for students planning to make a career in organizations that use journalism in their work (human rights organizations, think tanks, risks assessment companies, etc.) or in fields that engage with journalists on a regular basis (policymaking and government, academia, technology, etc.).