This paper looks into why investigative reporting may be going on a decline nowadays. It presents the issue and several problems of investigative journalism. The peoblem is that distorted investigating and reporting are sometimes hard to detect and can have significant consequences. An investigative reporter, Robert Parry wrote about the important of investigative reporting when he expounded that
“Investigative reporting is to journalism what theoretical research is to science, having the potential to present new realities and shatter old paradigms — how people see and understand the world around them — which, in turn, can transform politics. That is why investigative journalism is so important to the health of a democracy. ”(Glaser, 2006). Thus he is one of the many who think that investigative journalism is in danger. One areason that he cites is that most people today consult other media forms for updates on news such as the Internet.
Thus, the corporate owners of these newspapers do nto see the profitability of conducting lengthy investigative reports that can entail huge expenses since there will be be very little in financial payoff in the long run. (Glaser, 2006). Bruce Page who worked on the thalidomide, Philby and Dc-10 airline stories for the Insight teams illustrates this situation well. Page states it in no unequivocal terms that reporters should simply do what they are supposed to do.
They need to check facts and never take anything on trust especially from people who may have hidden self-interests. In fact, he concludes that this is what journalism is all about. It is about investigation and that is what sets it apart from any kind of write-up. In fact, the issue is not about asking important people what transpired but it is all about researching things yourself. It is this investigative technique that is the pillar of where journalism stands. (Sparks, p. 3).
Perhaps the emergence of investigative journalism arose because printers had to produce and sell since books tied up most of their capital in stock. There emerged better trade because there was the need for a well-established means of distributing the news by posting systems. In fact , it was seen that the intellectual revolution in Europe was both a function of and a stimulus for publishing. The era of the Enlightenment spurred the idea of ideas. This meant that there was no single factual answer to everything (de Burgh, 2000. p. 29).
This is the reason why more and more investigative writers seek material; to illustrate how reporting and the properly narrative techniques are executed properly. Shapiro & Hamill (2003), would like to give people a background of how investigative hournalism evolved. Their book elucidated the many events in history that precipitated what is now known as investigative reportage. Meanwhile, Pilger compiles in his book Tell Me no Lies: Investigative Journalism and its Triumphs (2004), the many events that brave reporting has done to expose abuse of power and injustices.
The complilation demontrates to all that this kind of reporting is most valued and celebrated because of its bravery in exposing abuses and injustices that would likewise be swept under the rag of oblivion. Being a war correspondent, Pilger is a journalist par excellance having won British journalism’s highest award twice. (Pilger, 2000). That is why it is suggested that perhaps the Internet can still provide investigative reports so that people can still get reliable reports even if it is not in printed form, saying that there can be a “more open collaborative method that involves citizen journalists and the public at large.
” (Glaser, 2006). American journalists and American publications are said to be the pioneers in online publishing and have used the Internet to propagate news and related content extensively since news first appeared on the Internet. Tracing that history, it is said that the first journalism site on the Web was developed by the journalism school of the University of Florida in October 1993, barely a month after the first web browser called Mosaic.
Newspapers in America also had a head start in publishing content on the Web, having done so as early as 1994 (Glaser, 2003). American newspapers benefit from that early head start in terms of depth of experience, as well as in terms of their proximity and access to the latest developments in Internet technology to improve their sites and the way they deliver news content in them. In other words, their depth of experience is both on the technological aspects of online publishing, as well as on the actual operation of those sites.
That depth of experience is reflected in the wisdom of early adopters such as the New York Times and The Washington Post in terms of the experience of getting news from a computer. This also includes the nascent and growing importance of web logs and how they impact traditional and online news reporting. These papers tackled the issues of whether online information provided by newspapers should be free or not, new technological and best practices developments in online journalism, the issue of reader trust in online content, issues, and the ideal online news experience before anyone else (Glaser, 2003).