Opening Blog Post

Renee Farmer
2 min readFeb 2, 2021

I hope to one day work for a conservation-minded organization or publication of some sort, such as the National Parks Service or the National Audubon Society. This field requires me to have the knowledge and skills of both the journalism and science fields. I am currently pursuing degrees in both.

The processes of interviewing and gathering relevant background information, which are essential tools of investigative journalism, resemble the scientific method. Thorough research is required prior to both interviewing and conducting experiments. The results of the experiment, like the final article that is developed, must inform and enlighten the audience.

The topic chosen for researched in both fields requires research in and of itself. Looking at issues currently affecting communities and topics covered by previous research reveals what topics are worth researching. Not all topics can be researched due to time or accessibility considerations.

Investigative journalism’s art of developing a story through research bears a likeness to developing and testing a hypothesis. High-quality, trustworthy sources and materials must be used in order to ensure that the outcome is right. Critical thinking skills must be applied, and ethics must be considered.

An important consideration of both scientific research and investigative journalism is the possible impact to the community. Lives can be benefitted by good scientific and journalistic research. In the same way, poor research conducted by those in either field can misinform and mislead the community.

Through this class on investigative journalism, I hope to develop the skills needed to research thoroughly and write clearly about scientific and journalistic topics as I prepare to enter the intersection of these two fields. Both will require me to have a firm grasp on how to research thoroughly, analyze that information, compile it clearly and consider how it will impact the community.

I want to learn to comprehend and analyze research articles that I review as I compile investigative articles. I want to be able to identify what sources are trustworthy and reliable to use in the research I do and stories I put together. Finally, I want to understand how to make that information meaningful and impactful to a community.



Renee Farmer

Journalism and biology student. Aspiring avian ecologist.