Investigative journalism involves three basic parts. First, a reporter collects his documents…But that’s just step one. Step two is finding sources who can discuss the documents and what lies behind them…And third, a journalist goes to the target of his allegations and gives the target a chance to respond. One may do this for legal reasons, but also because there may actually be reasonable explanations for odd-seeming occurrences, and the reporter is not only obliged to be accurate but also doesn’t want to wind up discredited [emphasis added].
— Michael Tomasky, writing for The New York Review of Books
More to follow in subsequent posts.