Investigative Journalism

On the important issue of trust, for example, American newspapers have struggled with the issue for much longer than their counterparts in other countries. They know that the news must come from a trusted source. They have the time to get to know writers and develop techniques to validate different versions of an event through triangulation and stability of information sources. These are very important in the development of trust relationships between news providers and readers (Glaser, 2003).

On the technical side, new developments such as the incorporation of RSS or Really Simple Syndication technologies into online newspaper sites are understood and implemented with arguably greater wisdom by American newspapers, being able to benefit from proximity to the American technology makers and from early adoption of such groundbreaking technologies (Glaser, 2003). Arguably, British online newspapers and other newspapers from other countries, though outstanding and have their own merits, do not have the same set of pioneering conditions from which such unique wisdom can be gleaned.

TV style video investigative news reports have been used on the web. Online editors are looking for new ways to report news on their websites, such as adding video clips, video reports, and even online TV newscasts. Kinsey Wilson, the chief editor of USAToday. com, described the trend of using online video as: "Continued, expanded use of video and real experimentation around how video is best deployed on the Internet” (quoted in Oxfeld, 2004) This new instrument benefits from the high speed development of communication technologies, especially the broadband Internet connection.

Leonard Apcar, the chief editor of the online version of The New York Times, recalled that in 2002 migrating from the newsroom, he felt the online news video was very interesting but that it was too early to say whether it could stand alone as a news or storytelling device. Now, video quality on the Internet has improved dramatically, and the spread of high speed Internet access allows the public to view video on the web perfectly. Leonard Apcar has stated that there are revolutionary things on the website, and the use of online video will bring a redesign of their online edition.

(Oxfeld, 2004) In November 2004, The Wall Street Journal Online launched "The Wall Street Journal Video Centre", which integrated all of the video clips of both breaking news and information into a central online database. These video clips come from its partners such as CNBC as well as analyses from Journal reporters. This heralded the coming of organized application of online news video. (Oxfeld, 2004). At present, a commonly held view in the media industry is that using as much online video as possible will benefit online newspapers.

Chris Jennewein, director of Internet operations at The San Diego Union-Tribune, said that with broadband Internet access everywhere, people prefer to see moving images with sound rather than still pictures. (Oxfeld, 2004). Apart from the interest from readers, on the business side the idea of moving pictures in a newspaper attracts more attention and brings greater business opportunity. More and more advertisers are interested in using online video advertisements and are shifting some of their advertisements from television to the web.

New kinds of video ads are becoming popular pre-rolls and post-rolls, video ads that run before or after the news video clip. Meanwhile, web news forecasts give the opportunity for TV-style commercials. In each three-minute News Journal Newscast two fifteen second ad fragments and one thirty second fragment are inserted. This idea was only proposed two months ago, and already more than eighty-five percent of the airtime slices have been sold. (Oxfeld, 2004).

Even the area of censorship in investigative journalism has been an issue widely debated. Would censorship bring about repression of the individual’s inherent rights or is it important in society over the long run. Tools of mass media used in investigation that include television, radio and Internet content have been scrutinized for decades. Efforts to develop investigative stories online The different media make online newspapers more active. Cell phones as a rapidly developing medium give new opportunities to online newspapers.

They try to build a steady relationship between reader, advertiser and newspapers and thus offer a new source of business. Cell phone networks create an interactive platform that ensures that users pay for interacting with content. For example, News 24 and Mail & Guardian Online supply news headlines and sports results to cell phone users via SMS. Matthew Buckland, an editor of the Mail & Guardian Online, said: “You receive news headlines, and you pay for the SMS. You enter a competition, you pay for the SMS. You vote in an online poll, you pay for the SMS.

Readers don't mind coughing up and accept that a payment needs to be made” (Buckland, 2004). Peter Feuilherade reports that there is a big demand for online newspaper editions because of their in-depth stories. The director general of the World Association of Newspapers, Timothy Balding, said that the web audiences for newspapers have grown by 350% over the last five years. (Feuilherade, 2004). With the evolution of cell phones, more and more newspapers will become available via mobile phones, not only in western countries but also worldwide.

According to the Beijing Ehaui Network Technology Co Ltd, the technology partner of the mobile service of China Women's News, the newspaper China Women's News has started to provide a mobile phone version to MMS users. Subscription to the service is set at 20 yuan (US$2. 4) per month, and an additional 1 yuan for the full news. (Xinhua agent, 2004) In Japan, the world's second largest newspaper and Japan's largest, Asahi Shimbun, was one of the pioneers of delivering news and sports content via cell phones. The reader pays less than US$1 for five news, three sports headlines, a daily sports column, and sports results. (Buckland, 2004).

With the recent trends, the future of newspapers is now divided into two trends. One is the printed newspaper and the other is the online newspaper. (Lamers, 2004) Indeed, the digital revolution is constantly changing the ways in which newspapers collect, produce and distribute information. (Feuilherade, 2004). Electronic editions based on different carriers can provide the leverage ability for newspapers to carry on their core business. Printed newspapers can pass the daily news to online media, who can transform them to electronic versions and distribute them to users via all kinds of electronic media, such as cell phones and Internet.

This actually is not competing with but supporting printed newspapers, because of the huge new user group. It also allows them to increase their circulation because now electronic editions are allowed to count as sold copies; and they extend the reach of a newspaper, both geographically and demographically. Geographically, people like to maintain relations with their regional or global communities. E-editions help people to maintain those relations twenty-four hours a day. Demographically, electronic editions can help to attract elusive young readers.

More and more newspapers are choosing to become an information provider with multimedia and multi spread channels, and combine their news coverage with multimedia and business operations. Conclusion New technologies have changed the routines and processes of newspaper production; they provide a wide choice of gadgetry and methods of communication to be used together. In a sense, the web has become a part of newspaper newsrooms. It has been a source of information since its inception in 1994. This was the year when web browsers attained visibility.

Approximately 25 percent of print journalists used the Internet for most of their researches. From then on, the web has been increasingly used as a news source, especially during non-business hours (quoted in Garrison, 1999). However, because of these recent technological developments, there ought to be more measures to help people develop a thirst for more investigative stories rather than the surface level news briefs that lack the integrity that the more indepth stories possess.


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