By DOMENICA A. LEONE
Investigative journalism and reporting is a broad realm within the industry, which through the years has certainly awarded various media enterprises acknowledged social prestige. It was for example, thanks to the whole Watergate scandal, that The Washington Post made a name out of it, but also Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein; the reporters, for uncovering the espionage plot organized by the White House and reelection committee of Richard Nixon, received a Pulitzer Price.
However, such detailed and well fabricated throughout subject analysis are hard to find today. The newspaper industry, which is undergoing various crises and evolution, such as budget constraints, evolving technologies and an overall decline in the readers, pose threats and difficulties to continue exercising what is undoubtedly an exhaustive research work.
Since the advent of the Internet, news media have clearly undergone drastic changes in their financial structures and, of course, we all know what happens when there’s a budget problem. The first thing you get rid off is that which is the most expensive. Unfortunately, this decision is terminating valuable investigative work as well as professionals in the business.
Certainly, journalism is also being changed by the influences of the times in which we live: social media and global communication among them. It seems to me that journalists now just report the most “relevant” issues based on convenience or comfort. And I say this because it is evident how news media enterprises now rely on a much more “citizen” approach when it comes to producing content such as photographs or on-the-scene video for generating revenues. (Spoiler alert: Yes! They make use of social media for finding out what to report about as well as what is it that you want to hear about.)
Voiced by the audience’s perspectives and targeted to the populous interests, the model might come across not only attractive but efficient as it evidently makes the research process less costly and time consuming. The big question is, though, does this represent a disadvantage for consumers of everyday informative sources?
Are we losing our creative thinkers? Problem solvers? Our hungry curious professionals that will likely take an event and further develop it into a story? Or we might as well just hear only facts happening worldwide for the rest of our lives.