Investigative Journalist

Uncover corruption and crime through research and hard-hitting interviews.
picture of Investigative Journalist

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$20,000 – $75,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Investigative Journalists do?

Corruption. Theft. Deception Intrigue. No, it’s not the newest crime novel—it’s the everyday world of the Investigative Journalist. Investigative Reporters use their curiosity, Investigator ’s nose for clues, and Writer ’s toolbox to hunt down, research, and share real-life stories from around the world. They specialize in in-depth articles that inspire, impassion, and infuriate their audience.

When you’re an Investigative Journalist, your subject material might change with each assignment, or you might focus on one type of article. For example, you might stick with governmental corruption, and travel from country to country. Maybe your specialty is corporate pollution or gangs. Perhaps you’d rather be a regional Reporter, covering all the news in New York, Washington D.C., or Chicago.

Regardless of where you do your work, you should know there’s an element of danger to it. While you’re digging the figurative scalpel into political figures and mob bosses, you’re likely to push someone’s buttons.

But the job isn’t all adrenaline. You’re a Reporter after all, which means you put in the hours on research, set up interviews, follow up on leads, and try to create a well-balanced story. Whether for 60 Minutes on Sunday night, the local paper, an online blog, or a national magazine, your ability to present the facts in an informative and passionate way brings new information to light and sometimes even uncovers evidence that sends the bad guys to jail.

Should I be an Investigative Journalist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Investigative Reporter

    How to Become an
    Investigative Journalist

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