Investigative journalism is driven by common sense and logic: M Rajshekhar on July 21, 2022

Award winning journalist M Rajshekhar said investigative journalism revolving solely around cultivating sources is a myth. “Investigative journalism is driven by common sense and logic,” said Rajshekhar, who spoke to the students of ACJ-Bloomberg Programme.

Rajshekhar gave personal insights into the reporting aspect of investigative journalism.
He said spotting discontinuities and contradictions in data should be the starting point for investigative journalists. “Look at a set of data available in the public domain and see if there is any discontinuity or contradiction, “said Rajshekhar.

For instance, Rajshekhar said he found contradictions in the data showing a significant rise in the number of pass percentage of Tamil Nadu state-board students, even as an NCERT study on the quality of education imparted by state boards, ranked Tamil Nadu at the bottom five.
He said a good journalist should surround the subject while covering a story. “Stop seeing people as categories, think of people as they are,” said Rajashekhar.

The four-time Shriram Award winner said reporters must omit setting pre-conceived notions on the topics they cover and should not compromise on integrity. “Journalism is an egalitarian field where you need just three things – perseverance, hard-work and common sense,” said Rajshekhar.