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Tasks: Investigative journalism

Illustration of woman in front of camera. Man holds the camera.


  1. What do we mean by “investigative journalism”?
  2. Is it OK that journalists do not have to disclose their sources?
  3. In what way is the Watergate-affair a good example of the power of investigative journalism?
  4. President Nixon faced an impeachment trial for covering up a break-in to the offices of the opposition party. He chose to resign. If this had happened today, do you think it would have had such serious consequences for the President?
  5. Why are investigative journalists often threatened?
  6. Investigative journalists often work from a theory of what has happened, and look for sources and witnesses that can confirm this theory. Does that affect their ability to be objective?


Use the internet and find more facts about one of the persons below. Afterwards sit in pairs and give a brief oral presentation.

  • Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
  • Michael Moore
  • Louis Theroux
  • Günther Wallraff


Imagine that you are a journalist working for a national newspaper. You are going to pitch an idea for an investigative story to your editor.

Your pitch should include:

  1. Idea for story.
  2. Why this story is important.
  3. How you are going to find out more.
  4. How much time you need to investigate and find facts for your story.

The story can be local, national, or international - it is up to you.


Answer the questions as fully as you can.

  1. Watch Carol Marin's TED Talk and sum up the advice she gives to investigative journalists.
  2. Do you think Marin's advice is specific to American investigative journalists, or is it good advice for Norwegian investigative journalists, too?
  3. Does the talk make investigative journalism seem like an interesting profession? Give reasons for your answer.

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CC BY-SASkrevet av Tone Hesjedal.
Sist faglig oppdatert 27.09.2020


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