by Alvin Hui Chunlin
Anyone can be an investigative reporter if equipped with intense curiosity and a strong willingness to follow through, a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer said at a forum last Thursday.
Nancy C. Carvajal won the SOPA Award for journalist of the year for an investigative series on political corruption. She gathered sworn statements from victims and verified their truthfulness with police, she said. She also obtained a hard disk with over 22,000 financial files.
“Admittedly, an investigative journalist has to be confronted with political pressure, harassment and intimidation,” Carvajal said. “But, if fear compels me to stop the investigation, who will reveal the truth to the public?”
Carvajal is one of six SOPA Award-winning journalists speaking at a forum at Hong Kong Baptist University this week.
Do not rely on a single source, Carvajal said. “If you cannot get the information from a source, be inspired to find another one,” she said. “For the ones unwilling to share, ask them the reason, which may be of great help to find the right ones.”
The police usually have the “juiciest” details and their information can grasp public attention, she said.
Carvajal said that investigative reporters should build trust with their sources. “It is also important to remind our sources that the information they provide may put them in danger,” she said.
“We should respect requests from our sources in order to protect them. Also, many sources want their stories to come out,” Carvajal said.
“Actually, everyone wants to share,” Carvajal said.