A watchdog's guide to investigative reporting : a simple by Derek Forbes.

By Derek Forbes.

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It has to be remembered that sources cultivate journalists as much as investigative journalists cultivate sources. These relationships hinge on personal trust that works both ways. Always question sources about their motives for providing information, and ask them for evidence and names of other witnesses who could corroborate claims. Tip-offs and confidential sources must be checked judiciously. Watchdog’s Guide to Investigative Reporting 29 This is not always possible. In certain investigations, such as the arms trade or smuggling rings, nobody will ever talk on the record for fear of reprisal or death.

Computers used for research or hosting sensitive information should be contained separately in the newsroom. One way to ensure that they are secure from hackers or viruses is to remove these computers from the office network and to disable any form of internet access to them. Always keep backup copies of your electronic files elsewhere. It is advisable to password protect both your computer and all the documents you are working on, as well as to use code names for confidential sources in all your reports.

Feinstein had resigned from the committee a year earlier. The SCOPA Report, which according to Woods was incomplete, allowed the ANC government to claim that it had been exonerated (Sunday Times, 3 March 2002). Watchdog’s Guide to Investigative Reporting 25 In the wake of the Yengeni affair, further arms deal investigative reports by the Sunday Times, Business Day, The Star, Die Beeld, Mail & Guardian, Noseweek and others have kept track of developments in pursuit of the truth. The ruling party, the African National Congress, revealed a serious weakness when it let Yengeni off the hook.

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