EXPOSÉ: America's Investigative Reports
When doing stories that include other countries

(From the IRE Resource Center)*

Whether you're covering an accident or another event or topic, using and creating your own databases can help you tell a better story. Here's why:

1 Do extensive preliminary research before proposing an investigation that will take a lot of resources and time.

2 Use Freedom of Information Act requests even if you get mixed results.

3 Use studies by non-governmental organizations to get background on a topic.

4 Stay relentless. If you are blocked from information in one way, find another way.

5 Avoid the phone for in-depth interviews. Find people and interview them in person.

6 If a subject won't take phone calls, then show up at his home or office.

7 When working overseas, learn the customs and treat everyone with respect.

8 On a transnational story seek both U.S. documents and foreign documents.

*Based on the reporting of Cam Simpson of the Chicago Tribune, "Pipeline of Peril," a two-part series published in 2005 that revealed that American tax dollars were being used to traffick Asian workers to U.S. military support jobs in Iraq.

Read the original reporting and watch the full Exposé episode about Cam Simpson and his investigation online.
© 2007 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.