5 Tips for Investigative Blogging
Blogging and journalism are definitely not the same, but they are cut from similar cloth, and there are tips, techniques, and tricks that can be shared between them, especially for sets of writing that can be considered ‘investigative’.
So, let’s consider for a minute some of the categorical tips that you can follow in order to have successful investigative blog posts, coming from the basic groups of using science to your advantage, being sure to leave your opinions out, following basic journalistic rules of engagement, showing and telling, and deciding on the level of entertainment your posts are producing.
Use Science To Your Advantage
When it comes to investigative blogging, you always want to use science when possible. So, when you’re on the trail of chemtrails, being in contact with scientists and aviation engineers to back up your story is going to be a great idea. In fact, any time you do any investigating, the bulk of your information should come out as cold hard facts; the point of you being the writing conduit, in this case, is that you figured out how to put the pieces together.
Leave Your Opinion Out
And since you have the bulk of that data from experts and professional sources, one of the things that you want to leave out of investigative blogging is your opinion. You can lead readers to believe what you believe, but the trick is to not spell it out – to make them come to their own conclusion, and it just happens to be the same as yours. Great journalism works much the same way. Which leads us to the next tip.
Follow Basic Journalistic Rules
If you do choose the investigative blogging path, even for a short series, you should be sure to follow basic journalistic rules. These often cover matters like protecting your sources, double checking names and facts, and being sure you’re not infringing on certain rights of people you talk to or about either.
Show and Tell
It’s particularly important in investigative blogging that you show and tell. And that means not only do you have to have great copy, you have to take great pictures as well. For every major point in your story, you should have good visual data to back it up, whether it’s in typical photo form, or even better these days if you have streaming video to add.
Decide the Level Of Entertainment You’re Providing
Eventually you have to make the decision of which proportion of your blogging is going to be about presenting information, and how much of it is about entertainment. Certain topics are going to go better in either of those direction, so just make sure that it’s an intentional choice.