We deliver research, storytelling, presentation and management skills that meet the needs of journalists, activists, educators and corporates.

Teaching Guide for Investigative Journalism

For the first time, investigative journalism professors can begin their work in the field equipped with a full-fledged teaching guide. The Modern Investigative Journalism curriculum goes beyond what to teach: it helps beginning instructors in the field to see how to teach it, by describing typical questions that students will ask (along with the answers), along with classroom exercises and take-home assignments that instruct through creative discussion and experience. Hypotheses, timelines, source maps, master files, interview techniques, advanced searching and basic data analysis are all included.

Yet this curriculum goes beyond the expected in several ways: It includes chapters on the history of investigative journalism, on the social, financial and enterprise value that it creates, on ethics, on presentation skills, and on finding and cataloguing open sources. Practioners who have never taught, and academics who have never conducted a journalistic investigation, will be the first beneficiaries of this book, which fills the gaps in their experience. Even experienced trainers will find new approaches to their material, particularly if, like many leaders in the field, they already use Story-Based Inquiry, the core of the new curriculum, as their basic teaching text.

Written and field-tested in collaboration with Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), our longtime partners, this curriculum is designed to be an open text. Scholars may contribute in several ways (for example, by writing the history of reform journalism in their own countries, as Saba Bebawi did for the Arab region in this inaugural edition). Plans are under way for co-publication with an international institution as we write. We ask all those who download and read this beta edition to send us their comments and critiques, which if appropriate we will include in future editions with full citation.

Mark Lee Hunter and Luuk Sengers, with Marcus Lindemann, Modern Investigative Journalism. A Comprehensive Curriculum Based on the ARIJ Method, ARIJ 2019
Pages: 203 | Format: PDF | English | Free Download

Benchmark Investigative Journalism Manual

Translated into a dozen languages and used in journalism centers and schools around the world, this handbook redefined the transmission of investigative journalism skills. In eight chapters designed by Paris graphic artist Anne Barcat, it sets out the fundamental skills and procedures for a successful inquiry.

‘Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Journalists’, by Mark Lee Hunter and others, is the first text that treats investigative journalism as an integrated process focused on producing an original story. This little book (about 80 pages in A4 format) guides you or your class through the basics of conceiving, structuring, researching, composing and publishing an investigation. It’s based on doctoral-level research and an aggregate 100 years of professional practice, with experts from the Global Investigative Journalism Network like Luuk Sengers, Drew Sullivan, Nils Hanson, Pia Thordsen and Rana Sabbagh. Our thanks to UNESCO, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism and International Media Support for supporting this project.

“I am impressed by the Story-based Inquiry Manual. I was prepared to see it as one more book on investigative reporting by someone whose time might be better spent actually doing it. Instead I found the volume insightful and logical.” (Rosemary Armao, assistant professor of journalism/communication at the State University of New York at Albany)

Mark Lee Hunter (ed.), Story-Based Inquiry. A Manual for Investigative Journalists, Unesco, 2009

ISBN: 9-789231-041891 | Pages: 87 | Format: PDF | English - Other languages available on the Unesco site. | Free Download

The Global Investigative Journalism Casebook

In this anthology, published by Unesco, twenty award-winning investigative journalists from four continents show the best of current practice, and describe in detail their research, organisation and writing methods. Instructive and inspiring for both students and teachers.

The Global Casebook of Investigative Journalism serves as a complement to UNESCO’s successful publication Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Journalists (2009). The Casebook contains more than 20 recent investigative stories from around the world, covering a wide variety of topical subjects such as freedom of information, good governance, social and legal issues, the environment, health and gender. Each article is accompanied by an explanation of how the authors conducted their research and wrote their pieces. Many of the authors belong to the Global Investigative Journalism Network, and their stories exemplify the cutting-edge techniques and high standards developed within this network. This Casebook thus serves as a key knowledge resource, providing a valuable learning opportunity for journalists and media professionals, as well as for journalism trainers and educators. It will also be used by UNESCO field offices to conduct training courses in investigative reporting.

Mark Lee Hunter (ed.), The Global Investigative Journalism Casebook. Unesco Series on Journalism Education, Unesco, 2012

ISBN: 978-92-3-001089-8| Pages: 256 | Format: PDF | Free Download

The Hidden Scenario

The Hidden Scenario goes beyond Story-Based Inquiry into our recent research on making and using timelines. After turning an idea into a verifiable hypothesis, we show how to turn the hypothesis into a scenario, the scenario into a research database including potential sources, and the research into scenes.

“The Hidden Scenario: Plotting and Outlining Investigative Stories” shows how story-telling techniques can give structure and focus to investigative journalism. Part One sets out the basic principles of establishing a chronology. In Part Two, we move on to the construction of powerful scenes. In particular, we alert the reader to the kinds of dramatic details that must be collected, and why. Part Three shows how scenes lead to sources: people, documents and data that might be available to prove your hypothesis and enrich your narrative. Part Four helps you apply your scenario in the field as a research tool. Sengers and Hunter have developed a method for organising investigative assignments that has proven practical worth. It saves time. It establishes priorities. It heightens the impact on readers and audiences. The Hidden Scenario is required reading for anyone who want their work to make a difference.

“The Hunter-Sengers method codifies for the first time the strategy, structure and techniques necessary to deliver complex and challenging investigations. It is brilliantly intelligent and useably simple. It has completely revolutionised the way I work.” (Brendan Montague, Request Initiative)

“I recommend this for all students of serious investigative and long form journalism and working journalists embarking on longer term investigations.” (Rosie Waterhouse, Director of the MA in Investigative Journalism, City University London)

Luuk Sengers and Mark Lee Hunter, The Hidden Scenario. Plotting and Outlining Investigative Stories, The Centre for Investigative Journalism, London 2012

Pages: 44 | Format: PDF | Language: English | Price:  € 4,40 | Buy and download

The Story Tells the Facts

This manual addresses storytelling techniques for writers and filmmakers, showing how a research database can be transformed into a narrative structure. Next, it delves into specific narrative devices, and shows how they add value for the audience and the producer.

“The Story Tells the Facts. Structuring and Composing Investigative Narratives” shows you how to compose a story that hits hard and fast, and builds to a powerful end. The core of this method is continuous composition and referencing — an approach that saves time and anguish, for you and your colleagues. The authors consider narrative structures and how to build them from a chronology or a sequence of scenes. Next they demonstrate specific narrative techniques, discuss ethical issues of investigative style, and move on to quality control and promotion. If you can tell a story in words and capture information in a narrative, the odds of telling a good story in film or radio go up, too. Investigative hypotheses and scenarios are very handy tools in documentary work, as in print. Likewise, documentation remains a fundamental concern for investigative filmmakers, and that raises issues of organisation and quality control. Rhythm, or pacing, must be mastered whatever the media you work in. All of these issues, as well as tools for structuring and composing narratives, are treated in this book.

“This is such a helpful and methodological approach, whether you write or film an investigative story. I am going to make all my students read and use it!” (Margo Smit, journalism lecturer and director of the Dutch-Flemish Association of Investigative Journalists (VVOJ))

Mark Lee Hunter and Luuk Sengers, The Story Tells the Facts. Structuring and Composing Investigative Narratives, The Centre for Investigative Journalism, London 2013

Pages: 68 | Format: PDF | Language: English | Price:  € 5,00 | Buy and download

Power is Everywhere

Power is Everywhere draws on ten years of peer-reviewed research, interviews and case studies by The Stakeholder Media Project, based in the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre in Fontainebleau, France. In five chapters, the book provides a blueprint for the conception and operation of media that serve stakeholder groups – communities of interest who affect or are affected by organizations like governments and businesses.

Power is Everywhere draws on ten years of peer-reviewed research, interviews and case studies by The Stakeholder Media Project, based in the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre in Fontainebleau, France. In five chapters, the book provides a blueprint for the conception and operation of media that serve stakeholder groups – communities of interest who affect or are affected by organizations like governments and businesses.

Power is Everywhere shows how these media, from to, differ from mainstream media in their value propositions, content and operations. The authors argue that stakeholder-driven media (SDM) will continue to proliferate, and that they will be an increasingly powerful vehicle for sustainable, fact-based watchdog journalism.

The book serves as a manual for founders of stakeholder-driven media, coaching them through the process of creating a business model and putting it to work. A key feature of SDM business models, say the authors, resides in changing the relationship of a media to its users, by entering their community to serve them. The SDM business
model, they argue, aims first and foremost to protect, promote and prevail for its users.

The book also sets out a new strategy for achieving social impact through watchdog journalism, based on studies of organizational crises in which communities and coalitions serve as levers of influence. The authors show that SDM can and do generate impact even in the absence of attention from mainstream media.  They dissect strategies by which stakeholder groups have prevailed in conflicts with much larger adversaries. They show that the power of actionable, verified information enables coalitions even among communities who pursue different goals. In conclusion, the book details monetization and growth strategies for the next generation of SDM.

Says co-author Mark Lee Hunter, “At a time when mainstream media are downsizing, SDM will provide jobs to many journalists, and news to a growing public. We seek to identify and improve a model that will meet those goals through valid, influential information and meaning.” 

The Stakeholder Media Project was created at INSEAD in 2006 by Hunter, also a founding member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, and Luk N. Van Wassenhove, a global leader in research on industrial and humanitarian operations, who recruited system dynamics expert Maria Besiou. Their scholarly research on SDM has been published by California Management Review, Sloan MIT Management Review, The Journal of Business Ethics and Corporate Reputation Review, while their practitioner articles have been featured in,, and Harvard Business Review. Their work has been supported by The INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, Kuehne Logistics University, Johnson & Johnson, the Thomson-Reuters, Open Society and Aga Khan Foundations, and WAN-IFRA. Power is Everywhere is designed by Anne Barcat.

Mark Lee Hunter, Luk N. Van Wassenhove and Maria Besiou, Power is verywhere: How stakeholder-driven media build the future of watchdog news, The Stakeholder Media Project, Paris 2017

ISBN 979 10 958 70 036 | Pages: 162 | Format: PDF | Language: English | Free Download

Het Verborgen Scenario

Na verschillende uitgaves in andere talen, is er nu eindelijk een Nederlands handboek waarin de vermaarde Story-Based Inquiry methode wordt uitgelegd. Het verborgen scenario bevat de belangrijkste inzichten uit de vorige handboeken aangevuld met nieuwe.

Onderzoeken is een kwestie van slimme vragen stellen in een slimme volgorde. Dit handboek bevat zorgvuldig gekozen vragen. De onderzoeker die deze vragen serieus aandacht geeft, geduldig en zonder bochten af te snijden, zal merken dat hij of zij als het ware door het onderzoek danst: de ondervonden weerstand wordt minder en het plezier groter. De methode spaart bovendien tijd: de structuur die de auteurs aanreiken voor het onderzoek, is óók een structuur voor een overtuigend en spannend verhaal. Tegen de tijd dat het onderzoek is afgerond, is het verhaal dus óók grotendeels klaar.

In het eerste hoofdstuk wordt ingegaan op wat onderzoeksjournalistiek volgens verschillende bronnen eigenlijk is. Het belangrijkste kenmerk, volgens alle definities, is dat de journalist het initiatief neemt tot het verhaal. Dat stelt niet alleen hoge eisen aan zijn of haar alertheid, maar ook aan zijn of haar discipline. Een goede planning en structuur vergroten de kans op succes.

In de hoofdstukken daarna worden de stappen van de methode uitgelegd. Hoofdstuk 2 behandelt het ‘incident’: een gebeurtenis die je op het spoor zet van een probleem. Hoofdstuk 3 moedigt aan om je voor te stellen wat er aan de hand zou kunnen zijn en om dat vermoeden te formuleren als een ‘hypothese’. De hypothese wordt in hoofdstuk 4 gebruikt om een ‘tijdlijn’ te maken: een chronologisch overzicht van alle gebeurtenissen die samen het verhaal vormen. In hoofdstuk 5 wordt getoond hoe je op een gestructureerde en strategische manier bronnen kunt vinden om de gebeurtenissen in de tijdlijn aan te tonen.

Het resultaat is een plan van aanpak dat niet alleen handig is voor jezelf, maar dat je ook met collega’s of eindredacteuren kan delen en bespreken. Hoe je vervolgens alle informatie die je uit de bronnen hebt verzamelt logisch kan ordenen en bewaren, is het onderwerp van het laatste hoofdstuk 6.

Dit boek is niet alleen bedoeld voor jonge journalisten die voor het eerst op onderzoek uitgaan. De methode is ook geadopteerd door ervaren professionals om hun slagkracht te vergroten en door NGO’s en actiegroepen om hun campagnes helder en overtuigend voor het voetlicht te brengen.

Luuk Sengers en Mark Lee Hunter, Het verborgen scenario. Onderzoeksverhalen plannen en structureren, Story-Based Inquiry Associates, Utrecht 2017

ISBN 978-90-826622-0-7 | Pagina's: 90 | Format: PDF | Language: Dutch | Price: € 10,00 | Buy and download

Drehbuch der Recherche

Das Drehbuch der Recherche ist die deutschsprachige Fassung des Handbuchs “The Hidden Scenario”, basierend auf dem Grundlagenwerk zum strukturierten Recherchieren „Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Journalists“ von Mark Lee Hunter und Luuk Sengers. Der darin beschriebene systematische Ansatz erleichtert Journalisten das investigative Arbeiten.

Luuk Sengers und Mark Lee Hunter, Drehbuch der Recherche. Das verborgene Szenario, Netzwerk Recherche, nr Werkstatt 25, Seiten: 92 | Datei: PDF

Format: PDF | Language: German | Free Download