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Felt passed information on to being expensive houses and motor journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein vehicles. Few, but not many, individuals because he was at the time chagrined at being are more discreet in spending or passed over for promotion. investing the money they receive, Felt’s identity was kept secret by the making it more difficult to trace any link Washington Post for 33 years. to them. For example, non-visible goods such as company shares require the journalist to have detailed knowledge of stock dealings and the ability to recognise the variety of techniques adopted by individuals to thwart detection and hide investments.

Get names and addresses (individual residential and business addresses) • Check accounts and see what wealth people have, but be careful – credit information is customer-volunteered information and may exaggerate the real figure • Cultivate sources within bank; Through bank sources, check bank accounts and whether your target owns or has recently purchased a vehicle, house or other luxury goods • Establish the behavioural pattern – the historical track record of the individual’s finances • Look for documentary evidence to support your traces.

Watchdog’s Guide to Investigative Reporting 49 Investigative stories could take anything from a month to several years to develop. Depending on the medium, journalists usually work on a quota system of two to three straight news stories a day – for example, political, parliamentary and crime reporting – while at the same time working on four or five investigative pieces. The amount of time a journalist spends on a story is important, although deadlines may vary depending on the publication or programme.

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