The Writers’ Co-op S2 EP9: Lee van der Voo
This week, we’re talking about how to make investigative reporting work within a freelance career. So often we think of investigative reporting projects as money sucks that will wreck your sustainable business plan. You never know how much time or effort the reportage could take, and it can be tough to estimate time accurately because of that.
Wudan’s conversation with investigative journalist Lee van der Voo turns that assumption on its head. Lee is an award-winning environmental journalist based in Portland, Oregon. She recently published a book called “As the World Burns,” which is about 21 young people suing the U.S. government for climate-related crimes. You can find her investigations in places like The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate, Reuters, The Atlantic, Propublica, and beyond. And she’s been supported by the Alicia Patterson Foundation, The Fund for Investigative Journalism, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the Lizzie Grossman Grant for Environmental Health Reporting.
Lee and Wudan talk about breaking your reporting process into smaller pieces, and Lee offers innovative ways to use your reporting to spark other pitches, which you can sell to make money along the way. She also talks about working toward a book or longform project, and how to decide which end-game is the best choice for you.