ABSTRACT

Chapter 5 describes how analytical journalists can generate plausible causal explanations from scientific studies. Based on journalism studies, the chapter outlines journalism as various forms of knowledge, including knowledge of causal relationships. It then describes knowledge as ‘justified true belief’ and ‘inference’ as knowledge creation by drawing on philosophy. The chapter presents the third phase of analytical journalism, which consists of the creative abductive inference strategy to find causal relationships that has proven to be valid in academic peer-reviewed publications. The strategy is then to create a causal hypothesis from these scientific explanations, highlighting causes that the media have so far overlooked. The chapter provides guidance on finding and justifying relevant scientific studies, extracting their causal explanations and constructing a hypothetical causal model for the journalist's case. This model is made plausible to be worthy of further investigation by the scientific explanations and the validation of the causal model for inconsistencies.