My investigative reporting tested not only my writing abilities, but my research and critical thinking skills too.
This is because getting documents out of the government through freedom-of-information requests requires critical thinking in all areas.
- coming up with a general research idea, usually based on recent news
- turning it into a specific question in a formal request letter, which requires additional research into which branch of government to ask (drilling down to precise levels in the bureaucratic structure) as well as specific document types and dates
- waiting a long, long time, at least six months on average
- sorting through hundreds or even thousands of pages of records (emails, reports, memos, minister briefing notes) written in dense bureaucratic jargon
- identifying the newsworthy information
- and finding ways to communicate it to the general public by using plain language and an enticing hook
I am proud of my document-driven reporting, and consider it my finest journalism work that tapped all of my writing/communications abilities.