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Prospectus

nl en

Investigative Journalism

Course
2019-2020

Tags

J

Admissions requirements

Essentials of Journalism

Description

This course is for students who are interested in learning about the theory and practice of investigative reporting in today’s media. Students will read and watch outstanding examples of research journalism which they will analyze from the perspectives of: aims, methodology, results and social context. The class will explore innovative methods, strategies and tactics that journalists employ in research projects. Students will also be expected to complete their own investigative report.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe and critique the role of investigative reporting as a social watchdog and a force for greater accountability from public officials and powerful people in an open society. Students will be able to describe the investigative process from a journalist’s, rather than merely a news consumer’s, perspective. Students will also be able to employ investigative reporting methods and produce their own investigative report.

Timetable

Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe and critique the role of investigative reporting as a social watchdog and a force for greater accountability from public officials and powerful people in an open society. Students will be able to describe the investigative process from a journalist’s, rather than merely a news consumer’s, perspective. Students will also be able to employ investigative reporting methods and produce their own investigative report.

Assessment

Overall participation in discussion: 15%
One in-class group presentation: 19%
In-class essay 1: 12%
In-class essay 2: 12%
In-class essay 3: 12%
One investigative report (1,000 words): 30%

Students will be given several weeks to complete their investigative report and in-class group presentation. Whenever possible, assignments are to be turned in via Blackboard. Because of the intensive nature of this course, missed assignments will be graded with an “F” and there will be no opportunity to make up for them later. However, no single missed assignment carries enough weight to cause a student to fail the entire course.

Blackboard

There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

By the first class session, all students should have the following books. Important note: only the paperback is acceptable, not the ebook version! Therefore, if buying books via internet please use the weblinks provided to ensure you order the correct edition:

  • Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield (author: Jeremy Scahill) http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Wars-Battlefield-Jeremy-Scahill/dp/1568589549/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

  • Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (author: Eric Schlosser) http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Food-Nation-Dark-All-American/dp/0547750331

  • Additional reading (scholarly essays and journalistic articles) will be assigned and/or distributed during the course. See also: readings assigned for specific class sessions below.

Registration

This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact course.administration@luc.leidenuniv.nl.

Contact

Robert Chesal, r.chesal@gmail.com.

Remarks

Before the first class session, students are requested to begin looking for striking examples of investigative journalism in the news and social media. Students should broaden their perspective by exploring media sources from various countries and outside the range of media they normally consume. The examples students find will come in handy during class discussion and assignments.