The Deep Dive: Investigative Journalism That Matters (July 2018)

Course Overview

The Deep Dive: Investigative Journalism That Matters (July 2018)
Online Group Seminar
Time Estimate:
The content of this course unfold over four weeks. There are few scheduled meeting times, except for one live session per week, so you'll be able to learn on a schedule that works for you. The minimum time commitment each week is five to seven hours.

About Online Group Seminars

In an online group seminar, you will gather with other participants in a virtual space, logging in from anywhere, day or night, over the course of several weeks. A faculty member guides the group through new material, moderates discussions and provides individual feedback.

This archived Online Group Seminar was originally available on:
July 6 to July 31, 2018

This online group seminar is for reporters with ambition to do investigative journalism that rights wrongs, corrects the historical record and makes the world a better place. This is not easy work, but it's rewarding. And when done right, investigative journalism can be the most important function of democracy.

Over the course of four weeks, award-winning investigative journalist and author Ben Montgomery will lead you through the process to create successful investigative reporting. Each week features readings, assignments and a live video class, and we archive those videos so you have unlimited access to the replays.

Live Video Class Schedule:
Each class lasts about an hour on Mondays

  • Week 1: Identifying stories worth telling, and getting started with an investigation. July 9 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern
  • Week 2: Finding and developing sources with useful information. July 16 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern
  • Week 3: Organizing information, finding themes and making the most of what you’ve got. July 23 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern
  • Week 4: Transforming your story into a narrative that keeps readers interested. July 30 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern

What Will I Learn:
  • Settling on a sound investigative subject
  • Getting familiar with getting documents
  • Accessing the historical record
  • Developing sources and earning their trust
  • Following the money and going where you're not supposed to go
  • Organizing your information and finding the trends
  • Investigative interviewing techniques
  • Finding the narrative tension
  • Structuring your story with an outline and editing like a boss
Who should take this course:

Young reporters working a beat will learn how to break the mold and chip away on long projects while feeding the beast. Mid-career journalists will benefit from fresh tips on investigative journalism, long- and short-form, on any kind of budget.

Course Instructor:

Ben Montgomery

Ben Montgomery is a former enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and founder of the narrative journalism website He is also the author of two books: the New York Times bestselling 'Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail,' winner of a National Outdoor Book Award for history/biography; and 'The Leper Spy: The Story of an Unlikely Hero of World War II.'

Montgomery grew up in Oklahoma and studied journalism at Arkansas Tech University, where he played defensive back for the football team, the Wonder Boys. He worked for the Courier in Russellville, Ark., the Standard-Times in San Angelo, Texas, the Times Herald-Record in New York's Hudson River Valley and the Tampa Tribune before joining the Times in 2006.

In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for a series called "For Their Own Good," about abuse at Florida's oldest reform school. He was a Livingston Award finalist for Spectacle: The Lynching of Claude Neal. He lives in Tampa with his wife, Jennifer, and three children.