Journalism, particularly investigative journalism, is often simply the search for, you know… that which smells.
The smelly stuff comes in many forms, and it is usually discerned and/or verified by a combination of processes or factors, which might include, for example, direct observation, confession, witness testimony, correlation, logical reasoning (considering ‘fruit’ and possible motives) and so on.
Investigative journalism is both art and science – and, in my experience, can be both crude and sophisticated – but it all boils down to ‘sniffing the smell’ and getting the sniff right, which is to say, correctly identifying what the smell is, who is making it and why.
Call it The Art of the Sniff if you like. Sometimes you can get at the correct conclusion in such a way as it can be proven to others, and sometimes you can arrive at the correct conclusion only to convince yourself that it is indeed correct, but the key thing – the prerequisite to having any viable tip to give or story to write – is to get hold of something worth having, and to be satisfied that you really do have something, and that what you have really is what you think it is. As I say, the art of the sniff.
I’ve been doing some sniffing on the Michael Overd case since September. (Michael Overd is due to stand trial before Taunton Magistrates on three Section 5 public order charges on the 11th and 12th of March next year.)
I invite you to sniff this page on the CPS website, which refers to the previous, unsuccessful stab at Michael Overd.
Now, aside of some assertions which are necessarily subjective (sincerely-held opinions which different readers will agree or disagree with), I do believe I spot one sentence which is undoubtedly a deliberate lie.
Can you spot the deliberate lie?
I think that one lie (and yes, it’s a whopper) goes to the heart of the CPS’s motive for the pending second attempt to criminalise Michael Overd over conduct (public Christian evangelism) essentially no different in manner or motive to Overd’s two-years-previous conduct for which Overd was tried and found not guilty.