Julian Sher is an award-winning investigative journalist in print, TV, radio, and on the Web. He is a veteran documentary writer and director, the author of five international best-selling books and an Internet trainer with clients around the world.
- To Find People, Think Before You Click - Find People
- Get an Alternative View of the Economy - Find News
- Covering the Economic Crisis on the Web - Find News
- Updates to Google News - Find News
- New York Times and BBC Make Improvements - Find News
- Top Ten Sites for Journalists - Search Tips
- Finding Court Records on the Web - Find News
- Searching YouTube and MySpace - Find News
- Try Searching for Other Search Engines - Find News
- Finding Archives on the Web - Find News
"The Internet won't make a stupid investigator smart. But it will make a smart investigator smarter."
What is the most rewarding thing you've done as a journalist?
Helped a wrongfully convicted man clear his name after 50 years. Steven Truscott was 14 years old when he was arrested and convicted for the rape and murder of a classmate in rural Ontario, Canada in 1959. It was one of Canada’s most famous murder trials. He was sentenced to hang, but the sentence was commuted to life in prison, He was eventually paroled, and lived anonymously for 30 years in a small town but still under the shadow of guilt. I began investigating his story in 1997, with a TV documentary and eventually a best-selling book. The investigative work by journalists, his family and his lawyers eventually forced the government to re-open the case and in 2008 he was finally acquitted and awarded over $6 million in compensation. See Until You Are Dead.
What is the hardest story you've ever done?
I have been embedded with American troops in Iraq and filmed with the Taliban in Afghanistan but by far the most challenging assignment I had was investigating child predators for my book Caught in the Web. Granted extraordinary behind the scenes access, I spent two years following the work of investigators from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and police agencies from around the world as they raced to save these children. Their stories can be gut-wrenching, but also inspiring and uplifting.
What is the most useful way to keep up with people or a topic you are researching?
I am on the road constantly - whether in war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan or researching a book in Las Vegas and New York. But I also get calls from media for interviews about my books, my stories and other current events. How do you keep up with a fast-changing world?
My main tool is Google News Alert. Get emails immediately, once a day or once a week every time the person you are following (if they are famous enough) or the field you are investigating comes up in the news. Try different keywords until you get the right results. I have several running and no matter where I am on the globe I never miss a development in a story I am tracking. For more information, see Staying Alert with Google.