Nieman Watchdog

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Impact of Investigative Stories

Watchdog September 15, 1999

Reporters sometimes devote months, if not years, to working with sources, researching and compiling information to prepare it for publication. Though what their stories reveal can be explosive and damaging to the parties involved and provide a basis upon which … Read more

The Roles Editors Play

Watchdog September 15, 1999

Reporters often mentioned the roles editors played in how they reported the story or how the story appeared in the paper. At times their input was helpful; other times it wasn’t. Loretta Tofani: “[When I began writing my story] it … Read more

Working With Key Sources

Watchdog September 15, 1999

In most reporting assignments—perhaps most often in journalists’ roles as watchdogs—following leads usually results in finding a key source, someone who can help to build the story’s foundation. How reporters work with these sources who often want, at least in … Read more

False Sources and Misleading Information

Watchdog September 15, 1999

Journalists put the public’s trust in peril when they publish stories in which a source has either given false leads or misleading information. Yet some journalists at the conference worried that this is happening more frequently. Roy Gutman: “The worst … Read more

Panel Members

Watchdog September 15, 1999

Byron V. Acohido: Investigative reporter, The Seattle Times. Since 1998, a specialist in covering the aerospace industry and aviation safety. His five-part series detailing problems with the 737’s rudder system won 11 journalism awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Beat … Read more

Naming Sources

Watchdog September 15, 1999

Increasingly reporters cite anonymous sources rather than provide readers, viewers and listeners with actual names. At this conference, journalists, whose work demonstrates how information was gathered from sources who agreed to be named in the story, told how they had … Read more

Verifying What Sources Say

Watchdog September 15, 1999

As helpful or reliable as sources might seem to be, no reporter should accept their version of events without finding documentation to back up what they say. None of the investigative reporters at the conference could have published their stories … Read more

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