Investigative journalism describes journalism aimed at informing the public about important public issues and holding people in positions of power to account for their actions. It typically involves gathering or uncovering information that is hard to obtain or actively hidden. Investigative skills and persistence are crucial parts of investigative journalism. Around the world, investigative journalists have learned that collaboration is often an important part of being able to produce quality work.

Investigative journalism has the same fundamental professional standards as other journalism: a commitment to accuracy, fairness and balance. But the nature of the subjects and issues tackled means there need to be especially high standards of accuracy and fairness. Very high standards are also needed in supporting and protecting sources, protecting personal privacy (as opposed to secrecy) and appreciating the public interest at stake in the issues we cover.

Investigative journalism is necessarily independent of governments, businesses and political and other groups, as it often has to hold these to account. It is underpinned by a commitment to human rights, justice and fairness.