Burstiner writes book on investigative

HSU journalism professor writes – and rewrites -- the book on investigative reporting


This fall, HSU journalism students will be able to take an in-depth reporting class from someone who wrote the book on investigative reporting – Professor Marcy Burstiner.

Burstiner’s second edition of “Investigative Reporting: From Premise to Publication” was published by Routledge in July. For this updated version of a text first published in 2009, Burstiner includes tips from not only veteran investigative reporters but also college students who had carried out successful  investigations for their campus news organizations. The new edition includes extensive discussion of data reporting and analysis for investigative stories. It also direct readers to free, collaborative tools for collecting, organizing and analyzing information, and it guides readers through the process of public records requests, as well. 
"So many guides to investigative reporting are geared to experienced journalists and scare away students," Burstiner said. "I felt it important to show students that they can do investigations themselves right out of beginning reporting, by introducing them to their own peers who have done just that."

This semester, Burstiner is teaching an investigative reporting course, during which students will look at housing issues for renters in Humboldt County.

“The need to train journalists to do accurate in-depth reporting on complex topics is fast becoming one of the most important tasks of our era," said JMC chair Deidre Pike. "We're fortunate to have a national leader like Marcy teaching this class."

HSU journalism alumnus Matt Drange, a reporter at The Information, calls the book “illuminating” and “accessible.”

 “This book provides the building blocks for students to conduct and publish their own investigative reporting with or without the support of a traditional classroom environment,” Drange wrote.  “The bullet-proof methodology and straightforward approach Burstiner outlines provide guidance for first-year reporters and veteran journalists alike.”

Humboldt County residents may best know Burstiner from her long-running Media Maven column in the North Coast Journal.

Before coming to HSU, Burstiner worked as a reporter and editor for a series of publications including the San Francisco Business Times, thestreet.com and The Deal financial magazine and website