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Investigative Techniques

31 posts

Guide Resource

Online Research Guide with Henk van Ess

Online research expert Henk van Ess has created a seven-chapter guide that offers reporters step-by-step instructions on how to use social media search to perform investigations of people and subjects and he’s also created a detailed tutorial on using facial recognition technology and best practices for putting these tools together in verifying claims online.

when to green light an investigative pitch

Investigative Techniques Methodology

When to Greenlight an Investigative Pitch — or End the Project?

Committing to a long-term investigation — also known as “greenlighting” — does not always involve a specific moment of decision. At IRE23, GIJN spoke with five veteran investigative editors to ask them what information they need before giving a project the the go-ahead.

Guide Resource

GIJN’s Updated Guide to Planespotting and Flight Tracking

Investigative journalists have long used information about airplanes to uncover corruption, follow wars, track government officials, and point out the levels of greenhouse gases emitted. GIJN has now revised and updated its reporting guide to planespotting and tracking flights around the world.

Guide Resource

GIJN’s Guide to Undercover Reporting

In countries without public record transparency rules or strong source protection laws, going undercover can be one of the few tools reporters have to reveal public interest stories.

Satellite imagery of the Amazon forest

Investigative Techniques Reporting Tools & Tips

Journalists’ Guide to Using AI and Satellite Imagery for Storytelling

Satellite imagery provides information that can enhance the ability to write compelling narratives about the state of our planet, cutting across multiple beats. But such a tool tends to be complex and out of the reach for many journalists, so this guide offers a process that reporters interested in covering the climate crisis can use for story projects.

Resource

Four Quick Ways to Verify Images on a Smartphone

GIJN has updated our popular step-by-step guide on verifying images to help find out whether the photo you saw on social media is the real thing. Try out some simple-to-use free tools — including TinEye, Google Reverse Image Search, Photo Sherlock, and Fake Image Detector — to check the source of a picture and whether it has been manipulated.

Resource Tipsheet

Online Advanced Search Techniques

Updated in March 2022 GIJN hosted two webinars in 2021 with Paul Myers, a leading international expert in online investigation. Myers, who works for the BBC and is a popular speaker at GIJN conferences, shared his tips on the best tools and strategies for digging up information about people online. Check out his tipsheet below. […]

Resource Tipsheet

The Forensic Methods Reporters Are Using to Reveal Attacks by Security Forces

The excessive force used against anti-racism protesters around the world, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in the US, reveals the need for more visual forensic skills in newsrooms to hold police to account. GIJN identified 12 tools and 12 methods that proved effective in several recent investigations that exposed harm done by security forces.

Guide Resource

Land Ownership Records: So Useful, but Challenging to Find

Finding out who owns land can be tough. While property registration systems exist in almost all countries, the quality and availability of the information vary widely. World Bank experts estimate that only 30% of the world’s population has a legally registered title to their land, a widely quoted figure that Bank officials stress is a […]

Guide Resource

Tracking Ships at Sea

More than 90,000 commercial ships make up the world’s commercial fleet, their locations closely tracked and the resulting data available for free. GIJN has compiled a comprehensive list of resources to track ships (including big yachts and fishing boats). We link to four dozen valuable sources of information. It’s possible to learn where ships are, […]

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Fact-Checking & Verification

Bellingcat’s Online Investigation Toolkit with resources on image and video verification, social media search, searching people, maps and satellites, and more. Updated 2023. GIJN’s Guide to Fact-Checking Investigative Stories by Nils Hanson (2021) GIJN’s Four Quick Ways to Verify Images on a Smartphone by Raymond Joseph. (2021) Making Stories Ironclad & Bulletproof Line-by-Line, by Nils […]

Resource Tipsheet

Online Research Tools

Online Research Tools and Investigative Techniques by the BBC’s ace online sleuth Paul Myers has long been a starting point for online research by GIJN readers. His website, Research Clinic, is rich in research links and “study materials.” Here’s a tipsheet about finding people online that Myers presented at a 2019 GIJN webinar. And a […]