Mark Lee Hunter's Paris Journal

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Welcome to the place for "Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative Journalists" and other resources for the renaissance of reporting

About Mark Lee Hunter

Mark Lee Hunter

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History and Travel

True Crime
Inside the National Front 
The Ministry of Fun 
The Passions of Men

Media Studies


Contact Dr. Hunter

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You're at the website of Paris-based scholar, teacher and IRE award-winning investigative author Mark Lee Hunter. It's a good place to download "Story-Based Inquiry", the free ground-breaking  manual by me and colleagues in the Global Investigative Journalism Network.

Click here for the English version.
Click here for the French version.
Click here for the Chinese edition.
Click here for the Russian edition.
For the Arabic version, go to  

The Global Casebook, my follow-up anthology for UNESCO, including stories by some of the world's best investigative reporters, is now in beta version.
Click here to read it!

For my latest research on media, insights from the "Business Models for Investigative Journalism" project that I initiated in the Global Investigative Journalism Network, and award-winning
investigative features on subjects ranging from true crime to the arts -- including examples used in "Story-Based Inquiry" that you may freely use as advance readings in journalism courses -- just scroll down the page.  You'll find excerpts from my books in the "bibliothèque".  Thanks for stopping by!

"I am impressed by Story-Based Inquiry. I was prepared to see it as one more book on investigative reporting by someone whose time might be better spent doing it. Instead I found it insightful and logical.  Plus it's available online for free instead of just in overpriced textbook fashion, meaning my students might actually read it.  I've already used some material on making and testing hypotheses in my Investigative Reporting class and will soon be using sections on writing in a news writing class. I learned a few things and even things I already knew are well explained and illustrated here."
Rosemary Armao, former director of Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., A
ssis. Prof. of Journalism at SUNY Albany 

"I absolutely recommend the use of 'Story-Based Inquiry' in class. I tested it this autumn at the Artevelde University College and I clearly could see
students produced better research projects."

Marleen Teughels
Co-founder, Investigative Research Network Europe (IRENE)

"One of the foremost investigative media trainers in the world"
VVOJ (Vereninging van Onderzoeksjournalisten)

 "You are a reference for our network."
Didier Désormeaux, pedagogy director, France Télévisions

"Mark Lee Hunter blazed the trail for the current generation of expat writers in Paris." 
Thomas Sancton 
Author, Death of a Princess

For my teaching and consulting services, click here.

The Digital Future of Investigative Reporting
The Internet has bled the news industry, but investigative reporting is thriving, and not by coincidence.  A documented essay for the Open Society Foundation on how investigative reporting will survive the crisis of news.

The Success and Failure of Nicolas Sarkozy
France's president is creating an unprecedented crisis in the postwar era: a possible victory of the extreme right in the next presidential elections.  This article, first published in (and linked to), renews my coverage of the extreme right, suspended for the past decade.

What Palin must have known
After a shooter attacked Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, wounding her and killing several others, Sarah Palin said it had nothing to do with her "target" poster of Democrats.  I made the link between her team and the infamous Nuremberg Files, which called for the assassination of pro-abortion physicians... and still does.

If Assange is a Spy, so am I
When the noise that the US government wanted to prosecute the founder of Wikileaks got out, the Global Investigative Journalism Network came to his defense. I helped launch that initiative, and I wrote the attached piece (from to say why.

Making Investigative Journalism Work: The INSEAD Social Innovation Centre Report on Business Models for Investigative Media
Our team at the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre have been  doing what business schools are supposed to do: Find models and processes that can make investigative reporting  healthy economically. The resulting ideas are in this working paper. Our thanks to the OpenDemocracy Foundation, the London Centre for Investigative Journalism, the GIJN and the VVOJ for helping us to refine and present these ideas.
For a video presentation of this report at the SKUP Conference in Toensberg, Norway on March 21 2010, click here.

Why Investigative Journalism is Coming Back: UNESCO asked me to write about Freedom of Expression and investigative reporting for World Press Freedom Day 2010.  The paradox is that while the news industry declines, demand for deep news is going up.   The question is, how will journalists profit from those trends?  Click here.

The Power of User Forums:  My colleague David Soberman and I wondered if user reviews of durable consumer goods could impact their prices on eBay.  The short answer is yes.  In this INSEAD Working Paper (forthcoming in Corporate Reputation Review) we call this effect "The Equalizer", because it enables small companies that make high-quality goods to compete with much bigger, richer firms.  We include an analysis of how folks on forums achieve this effect, and what firms can do to benefit from it. Click here for the paper.

Why the crisis of business is only beginning:  What does the financial crisis have in common with Watergate?  A long tail that will change the dreams of generations to come.  First published on, a terrific source of ideas and debate and a great example of Creative Commons publishing.  Click here.

The Quantitative Revolution and the Crisis: "Quants" -- the people who make quantitative models of how financial markets and products perform -- have been under close scrutiny for their role in the crisis of 2008.  In a conference at Columbia University in December 2009, leading academics and market practitioners got together to analyse the promise and danger of those models.  By reading between their lines, my conference report found some hidden risks; click here.

Features and Investigations
(BTW: Some of these stories are used as examples in "Story-Based Inquiry", and if you use the manual to teach, feel free to use them as advance reading.)

My Nights with Godard: One day someone called up claiming to be the New Wave auteur.  The next thing I knew, I was in a movie.  This account focuses on the methods of the master.

IRE AWARD WINNER! How France's Pols Pocketed $45M 
Ten years ago, French politicians sought escape from the financial scandals that hammered them by reforming the salary scale for elected officials.  But the solution created another scandal waiting to be exposed -- which is what my team from the Insititut Français de Presse did in Le Figaro.

Portrait of a Killing: A True Story of Power, Art and Crime
She owned a heritage of Old Masters paintings, and a lot of people -- including the ones who ran the Louvre -- wanted a piece of it.  For the first time in English, a true crime novella drawn from a nonfiction novel that drew international rave reviews on its French release.

National Headliners and Clarion Awards Winner! Baby Doe: The Miracle and the Shame of the Preemie Laws
Twenty years ago, a little-known law made it a crime to give anything but maximum aggressive treatment to newborns that nature meant to die.  Result: A new population of severely handicapped children appeared -- and the same government left them and their families to foot the bills. 

The Shot Heard 'Round Le Monde
France's newspaper of record runs billboards saying, "The price of  your freedom is ours." But a new book claims Le Monde has gone bad to the bone. To see what the fuss is about, check out my review of The Hidden Face of Le Monde, first published in the Columbia Journalism Review.

The Ramsey File
Everyone said the Ramseys killed their own child -- everyone, minus one.  In Salon, I first made the case against rushing to judgement.

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