Might Be a Little Too Much

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"The great British newspaper publisher Lord Northcliffe once said: 'News is what somebody, somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.'" (Sample Investigative Reporting)

I'm glad I'm taking this class this semester because my honors capstone project is based around investigative reporting. Since I'm not a journalism major, I wanted to try something outside of my usual confort zone and saw an attempt at investigative reporting as a possible way to include journalism in my project. For my project, I'm kind of creating a portfolio about what I find out about the acid mine draingage cleanup that is taking place (or not) in Somerset, Cambria and Westmoreland counties (its a long story of how I got myself into this).

The more I have researched for my project, the more questionable stats and information I have come across, especially for my home county. What concerns me most is that I don't know enough about investigative reporting to approach this correctly. What I will be writing in the future won't be published, however just me trying to pry at some information that is being protected and down played for a reason may cause problems as well.

In a way I am looking forward to my project, but it has caused me to become nervous as well. The more I have looked at investigative journalism, the more I realize it involves a lot of walking on eggshells. Not only do I have to be careful about how I treat my sources and back up what I am writing, I also have to consider how what I am writing will influence other people. Even though it won't be published, I'm really trying to avoid having what I write about this project becoming any more than just a project and a kind of experiment. Maybe I'm in over my head, but hopefully getting more background and experience with investigative journalism will help me to decide if I actually want to go through with the project.


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