Credit: Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Investigative journalism thrives on having a compelling story to tell, and piecing the elements of that investigation together is what makes the story to come to life.

However, when there are many ways to tell a story and many stories to tell, you can be left wondering which plot best works for your next investigation.

These seven story types, offered by Paul Bradshaw, data journalism lecturer, Birmingham City University, provide useful guidance. Take for example the ‘voyage and return’ plot type.

"The key point here is that there must be a reason for the person to have to come back: it may be because something turns out to be ‘too good to be true’," he writes.

"The investigation Follow the Money, which I produced with Yemisi Akinbobola and Ogechi Ekeanyanwu, uses this approach as it recounts the story of aspiring footballers from Nigeria transported to Cameroon and abandoned. Once we had the facts of those events we knew it would probably be an important part of the eventual narrative."

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