Investigative Journalist Job Responsibilities

James O’Keefe the founder of Project Veritas has been forcefully ousted as founder and CEO today. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia provides a brief biography of James O’Keefe, an investigative journalist as “an American political activist and provocateur who founded Project Veritas, a far-right activist group that uses deceptive editing techniques to attack mainstream media organizations and progressive groups.”

Whether one believes he is a far -right activist or that he and/or his organization uses deceptive editing technique to attack progressive groups is neither here or there.

What is clear however is that Hames O’Keefe is/was an investigative journalist.

Generally speaking, when comparing a career in investigative journalism, one looks to its growth trends. In this regard, the data is not encouraging. Job prospects for traditional news analysts, reporters, and journalists is projected to decline 9 percent from 2021 to 2031. The median salary is around $50,000 per year. The Top 10% earners can make upwards of $85,000.

While the projections for growth and high salaries may not be that good as other career possibilities, the advantages of this career is the potential to have monumental impact on society. The career and job search website, Indeed argues that investigative journalism can be a challenge though full of rewards. As mentioned, investigative journalist can benefit society by removing the veil of corruption, governmental and corporate waste, abuse, mismanagement and fraud.

Famous Investigative Journalists

James O’Keefe, founder and former CEO of Project Veritas joins a preeminent list of famous investigative journalists.

  • Ida B. Wells exposed lynchings of African American Negros in the deep south
  • Nellie Bly  revealed the inhumane and very poor conditions of institutions meant to treat mentally ill patients
  • Seymour Hersch laid bare the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War
  • Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward uncovered Watergate
  • Mike Wallace, best known for his time spent on the investigative television program, 60 minutes

Investigative Journalist Job Responsibilities

  • Conduct exhaustive legal, statistical, anecdotal research on topics of public interest
  • Analyze corporate financial, governmental agency, court filings, and legal findings (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Assess and discern truth from fiction, fact from myth and reality from unreal
  • Conduct interviews with subjects, witnesses, crime/civil court victims, perpetrators, often undercover
  • Conducts research on best practices to find gaps between standards, best practices and operational
  • Builds rapport
  • Gains confidence and trust from sources
  • Recruit whistleblowers
  • Verify information given with at least three or more corroborating sources of information
  • Writes articles under immense pressure and deadlines
  • Maintains source confidentiality

Related journalist job responsibilities and job roles

Related investigator job responsibilities and job roles