Training: Finding Your Best Investigative Business Story

by February 5, 2013
The Seattle Times' Methadone and the Politics of Pain in The Seattle Times

Your instructor, Michael J. Berens, shared the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting with Ken Armstrong for their Seattle Times stories on the economics of methadone.

The free webinar, “Finding Your Best Investigative Business Story,” was originally held Feb. 5, 2013.

So, you want to do an investigative business story. You’ve got several ideas, but how do you decide which one to pitch to your editor?

In one hour, Pulitzer winner Michael J. Berens will help you find, develop and pitch a winning investigative story idea.


  • Find the best stories with a simple 10-point guide to create groundbreaking enterprise articles.
  • Use free or easy-to-obtain public records, documents and sources to build extraordinary business stories.
  • Develop time-tested reporting strategies and learn tricks of the trade that boost efficiency, unlock new story nuggets and coax reluctant sources on the record.
  • Learn how to quantify stories with a spreadsheet program (and a handful of click-and-point commands) to unlock a treasure trove of business and finance stories.
  • Discover techniques for writing memorable story memos that sell editors on your ideas.


Michael J. Berens is a reporter for The Seattle Times and a winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He previously worked for the Chicago Tribune and The Columbus Dispatch, where he began as a copy boy in 1981.

He was the 2011 bronze award winner in the Reynolds Center’s Barlett and Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism.

Additionally, his work in recent years was recognized with a Gerald Loeb Award; Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism; and Selden Ring Award for Investigative Journalism.

He is a frequent journalism trainer for various media-related organizations and is a former adjunct professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.


Review the resources below at your own pace for tips and tools on finding great investigative business stories.

Session recording

PowerPoint presentation


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