Sarah Hartley

Notes from research strategies in complex traditional investigations at IPI World Congress #ipiwoco


Live notes from session:

Looking at any investigation, common stages open to all. Brainstorm – sources, what happens next, experts, critics, main actors, official sources.
Field research.


The class is looking at ship breaking, a topic where none of the delegates has any particular expertise, in order to explore the general strategies.

- think in terms of analogies (similar activity you are familiar with)
- think in terms of chronology ( what happens next)
- think in terms if antagonisms (who is competitor)

Test accounts possible at Lloyds of London.
Alang is the last destination on many ships (India)

Criteria used in Greenpeace for undercover work is overriding public interest and no other method of getting the information.

Keeping it simple – in this case tourists wanting to take photos and buy a momento for a club room back home.

If you go undercover, even if lying, stick to the truth so create a role which is near to reality.

1. What leads to the information needed.
2. Not threatening to the other side
3. Meets the interest of the other side.
4. As close as possible to what you really are.


Should Greenpeace have used this picture? The worker is clearly identified. He did not give permission as the Greenpeace staff were pretending to be tourists taking pictures.

The Greenpeace staff discussed but decided the risk to the worker was that of being exposed to asbestos and not an infringement of his privacy.

Outcome of this investigation was that India decided to prohibit the breaking of certain vessels to protect workers’ health.

Written by sarahhartley

April 12th, 2014 at 8:26 am

Posted in Digital events,Journalism

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