Produce watchdog journalism that makes an impact.
We offer an exclusive track for students looking to specialize in investigative reporting. We also offer many classes that incorporate investigative skills and techniques and are open to all students.
What We Offer
Teaching investigative skills is a core mission of the Journalism School. All students in our M.S. and M.A. programs learn the tools and methods of investigative journalism. M.S. candidates can also apply to The Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. In addition to the regular M.S. curriculum, Stabile students take investigative reporting classes throughout the school year and are given financial and editorial support to complete ambitious projects.
M.S. and M.A. students are required to take an investigative class in the fall (see Classes below). Those in the M.S. program can also opt to take an investigative seminar in the spring, where students work in groups, each investigating a single topic for 15 weeks. These seminars range from investigating health care to investigating armies and spies, and doing cross-border investigations with data.
In order to graduate with a specialization in investigative journalism, students must apply to the Stabile Center as part of their application for admission to the school.
No student graduates from our master's programs without a foundation in investigative journalism. M.A. students take a 15-week M.A. Essentials class that includes the basics of data and investigative reporting. A seven-week Investigative Techniques class focused on using public records and data for reporting is mandatory for M.S. students. In addition, M.S. students can choose from a menu of classes with a strong investigative element.
The following are mandatory investigative reporting classes for master's students:
M.A. Essentials (mandatory for all M.A. students)
Investigative techniques are key to 21st century journalism. Students learn the best ways to comb public records, conduct internet forensics and do thorough background searches on individuals and corporations. They gain an understanding of cutting-edge concepts in data journalism and how to employ them in coverage of their concentrations. Multiple instructors teach sections of this class.
Investigative Techniques for Journalists (mandatory for all M.S. students)
This class aims to ground students in some of the fundamental tools of investigative reporting: How to obtain and analyze public records and data; get information about individuals and groups using a variety of sources; use social media for reporting and verification; and evaluate scholarly literature. Multiple instructors teach sections of this class.
The following are 15-week classes available to all master's students:
Please note: The classes listed here represent recent offerings at the Journalism School. Choices vary each semester depending on faculty availability and other considerations. Except for the mandatory courses, some of these classes may change or be dropped to make room for new additions.
As students enrolled in the Investigative Projects class, Jacqueline Williams & Ana Graciela Méndez, '15 M.S., worked with adjunct professor Walt Bogdanich on an investigation that raised questions about the safety and viability of the Panama Canal. Their story was on the front page of The New York Times.
Students in the data concentration worked with the team investigating the Panama Papers, a trove of 11.5 million leaked documents. They researched the shipping industry's offshore links, providing data analysis and story leads to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Four students from the ’16 M.S. Stabile class reported on how wealthy politicians and businessmen suspected of corruption in their native lands are fleeing to the U.S., a safe haven where their wealth and influence shield them from arrest. Their report was published by The Miami Herald and ProPublica.
Dean & Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism
Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism; Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, and Dean of Academic Affairs
Knight Chair in Data Journalism and Director of the M.S. In Data Journalism Program
James Madison Visiting Professor on First Amendment Issues