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Tips on Investigative Journalism From the Most Honored US Journalists-- Barlett and Steele

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storycon.org H2'ed 10/28/12
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Rob Kall: Whoah! Could you let me ask you this, that you are the judge on one contest, the Investigative Reporters and Editorial" Editors journalism contest?

 

James Steele:   And we've judged others.

 

Rob Kall: What is that? And, others? Okay. So what is some of the criteria that you look for, in identifying excellence and winners?

 

James Steele:   Clarity. The way the story is put forth.

 

Donald Barlett: [interjecting] And obstacles that had to be overcome in getting it.

 

James Steele:   And was the energy worth being expended for this topic? And I'll tell, you some of these things are really hard to judge because boy, the really good stuff is, it's a tough issue because a lot of good stuff is being done. Most of it is at the local and what we call the regional. There's not as much at the national level that we would like to see. But in a lot of regional things it's fine. I mean the Philadelphia Enquirer's series last year on violence in schools was an exceptional piece of work, and it was a combination of interviews, human stories backed up by raw data about what was really going on. So, there's a lot of good work going on now. And a lot of committed people in journalism. Journalism's has always been a calling, that's never changed, and that never will change. I don't think anybody knows just all the ways it's going to be a showcased in the future.  

 

Rob Kall: What do you mean, it's a "calling'?

 

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