Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Michele Alexander


The unit offers students the opportunity to undertake an in depth study and learn about the research and reporting practices required for thorough and detailed investigative reporting. It explores primary documentary and database sources and uses contemporary case studies, key institutions, and legal frameworks to better understand key elements of investigative reporting in the South African and African contexts. It places present day events and practices in broader historical and geographical contexts, and critically examines the professional and social implications and accountabilities of investigative reporting in this specialized field of journalism.


On successful completion of the unit students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an ability to identify and research an investigative story, conduct interviews and gather appropriate evidentiary material in a suitable medium
  2. demonstrate an ability to report clearly and concisely on an investigation and display the ability to use factual data in a meaningful ways by using a variety of approaches
  3. recognise and critically evaluate key ethical and legal requirements associated with investigative journalism in South Africa and Africa and demonstrate their ability to reflect critically on their own and others' performance
  4. work independently and collaboratively in learning and production processes, including online forums, to produce investigative reports
  5. demonstrate their capacity to report under pressure and in a timely fashion
  6. demonstrate an awareness of South African, African and international events relevant to current and recent issues and media related issues
  7. demonstrate critical insight into the competencies, limitations and social and professional implications of reporting practices in the field of investigative journalism.


Minor project 1 (800 words plus 300 words reflection): 15%
Minor Project 2 (1000 words plus 400 words reflection): 30%
Major Project (2000 words plus 500 words reflection): 45%
Online contribution: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


AZA1329 and 12 points of Journalism units at the 2nd year level