How to be an Investigative Reporter at the St. Petersburg Times (it's easy)

How to be an Investigative Reporter at the St. Petersburg Times (it's easy)


Step 1 >> That word “investigative” is highly overrated, especially inasmuch as 80 percent of all information necessary for your story is readily available on the Internet. It’s just a matter of trolling lunatic fringe sites for any and all allegations, no matter how hair-brained, then attributing said allegations to any of the following: repossessed furniture dealers, night janitors and self-proclaimed creators of the universe. Also of note: Car salesmen make excellent corroborators.

Step 2 >> There’s nothing wrong with regurgitating old stories and passing them off as “new investigative breakthroughs.” By way of example, if you previously managed to slip half-baked allegations past your readers, publish them again and they’ll be fully baked. Publish them 50 times and they’ll become as hard and durable as volcanic rock!

Step 3 >> Whenever discussing your work, continually drop such phrases as “Journalism 101” and “investigative process.” It may not get you a Pulitzer Prize, but it will make you feel like you’re in the running.

Step 4 >> (and most important) Never interview the primary subject of an “investigative profile.”  He or she might well have something to say.

Besides, you can always do the interview after your article goes to press. Why let the public figure whose name you want to profit from get in the way of that Pulitzer you have your eye on!