Handboek voor onderzoeksjournalisten

Hoe onderzoek je een vermoeden?
Hoe verwerk je een berg droge feiten tot een overtuigend verhaal?

Het officiële handboek van de Nederlands-Vlaamse Vereniging van Onderzoeksjournalisten behandelt de internationaal vermaarde Story-Based Inquiry methode: een snelle en effectieve manier om journalistiek onderzoek te organiseren en uit te voeren. Daaromheen bespreken de auteurs de sociale, psychologische, juridische, financiële, ethische en maatschappelijke aspecten van onderzoeksjournalistiek.

Het boek is rijk aan praktische tips, concrete stappenplannen, handige checklisten en sprekende voorbeelden uit Vlaamse en Nederlandse media. Veel adviezen zijn nooit eerder opgeschreven of gepubliceerd. De auteurs zijn praktiserende onderzoeksjournalisten of op een andere manier bij het dagelijks werk van onderzoeksjournalisten betrokken. De meesten hebben bovendien didactische ervaring.

Beginnende onderzoeksjournalisten kunnen het boek gebruiken als leidraad, ervaren speurders als naslagwerk. Hoewel dit boek zich op de eerste plaats richt tot journalisten, zijn de adviezen nuttig voor iederéén die op zoek is naar betrouwbare feiten voor werk of ideaal — zoals researchers van bedrijven, publieke organisaties en ngo’s, activisten en weetgierige burgers.

Luuk Sengers (red.), Handboek voor onderzoeksjournalisten. Van vermoeden tot verhaal. Bertram+de Leeuw Uitgevers, 2022, ISBN: 9789461563057 | Pagina's: 512

Story-Based Inquiry Manual

“Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Journalists”, by Mark Lee Hunter and others, is the first text that treats investigative journalism as an integrated process focused on producing an original story. This little book (about 80 pages in A4 format) guides you or your class through the basics of conceiving, structuring, researching, composing and publishing an investigation.

It’s based on doctoral-level research and an aggregate 100 years of professional practice, with experts from the Global Investigative Journalism Network like Luuk Sengers, Drew Sullivan, Nils Hanson, Pia Thordsen and Rana Sabbagh. Our thanks to UNESCO, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism and International Media Support for supporting this project.

“I am impressed by the Story-based Inquiry Manual. I was prepared to see it as one more book on investigative reporting by someone whose time might be better spent actually doing it. Instead I found the volume insightful and logical.” (Rosemary Armao, assistant professor of journalism/communication at the State University of New York at Albany)

Mark Lee Hunter (ed.), Story-Based Inquiry. A Manual for Investigative Journalists, Unesco, 2009. ISBN: 9-789231-041891 | Pages: 87 | Format: PDF | English - Other languages available on

Global Casebook

In this anthology, published by Unesco, twenty award-winning investigative journalists from four continents show the best of current practice, and describe in detail their research, organisation and writing methods. Instructive and inspiring for both students and teachers. 

The Global Casebook of Investigative Journalism serves as a complement to UNESCO’s successful publication Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Journalists (2009). The Casebook contains more than 20 recent investigative stories from around the world, covering a wide variety of topical subjects such as freedom of information, good governance, social and legal issues, the environment, health and gender. Each article is accompanied by an explanation of how the authors conducted their research and wrote their pieces. Many of the authors belong to the Global Investigative Journalism Network, and their stories exemplify the cutting-edge techniques and high standards developed within this network. This Casebook thus serves as a key knowledge resource, providing a valuable learning opportunity for journalists and media professionals, as well as for journalism trainers and educators. It will also be used by UNESCO field offices to conduct training courses in investigative reporting.

Mark Lee Hunter (ed.), The Global Investigative Journalism Casebook. Unesco Series on Journalism Education, Unesco, 2012, ISBN: 978-92-3-001089-8| Pages: 256 | Format: PDF

The Hidden Scenario

The Hidden Scenario goes beyond Story-Based Inquiry into our recent research on making and using timelines. After turning an idea into a verifiable hypothesis, we show how to turn the hypothesis into a scenario, the scenario into a research database including potential sources, and the research into scenes.

“The Hidden Scenario: Plotting and Outlining Investigative Stories” shows how story-telling techniques can give structure and focus to investigative journalism. Part One sets out the basic principles of establishing a chronology. In Part Two, we move on to the construction of powerful scenes. In particular, we alert the reader to the kinds of dramatic details that must be collected, and why. Part Three shows how scenes lead to sources: people, documents and data that might be available to prove your hypothesis and enrich your narrative. Part Four helps you apply your scenario in the field as a research tool.

Sengers and Hunter have developed a method for organising investigative assignments that has proven practical worth. It saves time. It establishes priorities. It heightens the impact on readers and audiences. The Hidden Scenario is required reading for anyone who want their work to make a difference.

Luuk Sengers and Mark Lee Hunter, The Hidden Scenario. Plotting and Outlining Investigative Stories, The Centre for Investigative Journalism, London 2012Pages: 44 | Format: PDF | Language: English | Price:  € 4,40

The Story Tells the Facts

This manual addresses storytelling techniques for writers and filmmakers, showing how a research database can be transformed into a narrative structure.

Next, it delves into specific narrative devices, and shows how they add value for the audience and the producer. “The Story Tells the Facts. Structuring and Composing Investigative Narratives” shows you how to compose a story that hits hard and fast, and builds to a powerful end.

The core of this method is continuous composition and referencing - an approach that saves time and anguish, for you and your colleagues. The authors consider narrative structures and how to build them from a chronology or a sequence of scenes. Next they demonstrate specific narrative techniques, discuss ethical issues of investigative style, and move on to quality control and promotion.
“Hunter and Sengers unpack the essential elements of writing like an anatomy lesson.” (Mark Schapiro, environmental journalist)

Mark Lee Hunter and Luuk Sengers, The Story Tells the Facts. Structuring and Composing Investigative Narratives, The Centre for Investigative Journalism, London 2013, Pages: 68 | Format: PDF | Language: English | Price: € 5,00 


For the first time, investigative journalism professors can begin their work in the field equipped with a full-fledged teaching guide. “The Modern Investigative Journalism curriculum” goes beyond what to teach: it helps beginning instructors in the field to see how to teach it, by describing typical questions that students will ask (along with the answers), along with classroom exercises and take-home assignments that instruct through creative discussion and experience. Hypotheses, timelines, source maps, master files, interview techniques, advanced searching and basic data analysis are all included.

Yet this curriculum goes beyond the expected in several ways: It includes chapters on the history of investigative journalism, on the social, financial and enterprise value that it creates, on ethics, on presentation skills, and on finding and cataloguing open sources. Practioners who have never taught, and academics who have never conducted a journalistic investigation, will be the first beneficiaries of this book, which fills the gaps in their experience. Even experienced trainers will find new approaches to their material, particularly if, like many leaders in the field, they already use Story-Based Inquiry, the core of the new curriculum, as their basic teaching text.

Mark Lee Hunter and Luuk Sengers, with Marcus Lindemann, Modern Investigative Journalism. A Comprehensive Curriculum Based on the ARIJ Method, ARIJ 2019, Pages: 203 | Format: PDF | English

Drehbuch der Recherche

“Das Drehbuch der Recherche” ist die deutschsprachige Fassung des Handbuchs “The Hidden Scenario”, basierend auf dem Grundlagenwerk zum strukturierten Recherchieren “Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Journalists” von Mark Lee Hunter und Luuk Sengers. Der darin beschriebene systematische Ansatz erleichtert Journalisten das investigative Arbeiten.

Luuk Sengers und Mark Lee Hunter, Drehbuch der Recherche. Das verborgene Szenario, Netzwerk Recherche, nr Werkstatt 25, Seiten: 92 | Datei: PDF | Language: German

Investigating Sustainable Development

A corrupt official's main worry is that his or her secret is revealed. Whereas investigative journalism is the key to disclose such breaches, access to information is the right to hold this key and empowers citizens through information and knowledge.

This unique course enables journalists to advance their knowledge and skill in Investigative Journalism and Access to Information (SDG 16.10.2), within the perspective of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Bridging Investigative Journalism and Access to Information, two fields of work that are interwoven and interdependent, this course serves as a  teaching guide and a supplement to the UNESCO’s Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Journalists, which has been acclaimed by journalists across the world.

Mark Lee Hunter and Luuk Sengers, Investigating Sustainable Development, A guide and method for advancing investigative journalism and SDG, Unesco 2022, Format: Handouts, slides and teaching notes | Language: English | Free download