Investigative Journalist

"I collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation or observation. I produce stories across different mediums from print to video to audio. My job is to pursue and communicate the objective truth by engaging and connecting with a diverse audience in a manner that is relevant to them. My reward is making a difference in my community."

Salary Range:

$54,000 - $119,000

The Tip

Get used to thinking beyond your comfort zone. Go into every situation with intentional curiosity. If you can see ways to connect the dots in a story using diverse media, you’ll be a high-value colleague.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Formulating research questions

  • Ability to critically analyze literature

  • Ability to develop and execute qualitative research

  • Ability to synthesize key themes from multiple sources

 

Contextual Knowledge
  • Knowledge of human behaviour

  • Understanding of context and values of audiences

  • Essential understanding of topics and themes as they relate to an audience

 
Advanced Communication Skills
  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Sensitivity to how communications is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to audience

 
Advanced Communication Skills
  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Sensitivity to how communications is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to audience

Evidence-based Storytelling Skills
  • Ability to use research to develop an evidence-based story

  • Ability to generate story ideas

  • Ability to identify target audiences

  • Ability to create compelling narratives across media

 

Additional Skills
  • Contextual knowledge of media industry

  • Excel at core communication, interpersonal and organizational skills

  • Project management skills

  • Systematic understanding of current events

  • Ability to use specialized communications technology

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (English) with a minor in business & society

  • Certificate in video production from local college

  • Investigative reporting is evolving rapidly, but my favourite book remains the classic All the President’s Men

  • Gerard Ryle’s TED Talk on the Panama Papers and investigative journalism is inspiring

 

"Being a journalist today is challenging. To maintain a competitive advantage, I need to be agile enough to work across media. I developed an educational plan to deliver on this. My English degree, combined with my certificate in video production gave me the fundamental skills to pursue this career.

Today, I focus on informal learning to ensure I understand emerging trends and how they may impact my profession. Learning is core to my job every day."

Employment Experiences:
  • Joined school newspaper in first week at university. Wrote 12 articles in my first year. Six had accompanying video.

  • Did a work term at local community newspaper. Hired for two summers while in school.

  • Hired as a digital media specialist with local TV station. Promoted to the investigative news team.

  • I am a passionate photographer and generate $200 per month in iStockphoto revenue

 

"In journalism, networks create opportunities. I knew this on Day 1 at university and wanted to ensure I used my time, both inside and outside the classroom, as an opportunity to gain experience and build my reputation as an investigative journalist."

Community Experiences:
  • Editor of school newspaper while in university. Remain an alumni mentor.

  • Active member of the Canadian Association of Journalists

 

"I am passionate about investigative journalism. I am intentionally curious. I ask questions all the time and look for community opportunities that need this skill."

Contextual Experiences:
  • I did a semester in France in university to refine my French. I have travelled to 17 countries in 10 years. Travelling is an education in itself.

  • This profession is highly competitive and requires mobility to progress. I have lived in four cities in 10 years. It is a lifestyle you need to embrace.

 

"Exposure to diverse cultures reinforced my humility because it showed me the world is big and what I actually know is so small."

Relationships:
  • To succeed as an investigative journalist you need to have a reputation and respect. I invest in building social capital every day. I built an active mentoring team when I was in university.

  • My spouse is my best friend. They are my greatest supporter and champion and have been flexible as my career progresses.

 

"I know success as an investigative journalist is about building strong relationships and networks. All relationships must be win-win. Being a journalist can involve long hours (early mornings and late nights), so I need to have strong personal relationships."