Journalism is the art of uncovering matters that were buried either, deliberately by a group or a person in a position of power. The burring of matters can also be accidental, behind a mass of facts and circumstances. Investigative Journalism includes the analysis and exposure of all relevant facts to the public. In this way investigative journalism crucially contributes to freedom of expression and media development.
Investigative Journalism requires considerable research and evidential backing in revealing the fraud, corruption or deceit, it also involves a high bevel of risk which, not only at times affects the lives of the journalist, but also the lives of their loved ones. When people think of journalism as a field of work, the typical news reporter or columnist stereotype springs to mind, however, there is much more to journalism than meets the eye. There are different types of journalism and ways in which you can gather and portray information.
Investigative journalism is just one branch of this ever-growing tree. It is respected in ways and despised by others just as it is supported by some and opposed by others. Investigative Journalists are there to expose truth within a given society. This could be exposing anything as big as government secrets and its officials or as minor or more trivial as a celebrity secret affair. Investigative journalism could be presented in newspaper articles, documentaries, or now with the founding of “Whisker’s”, it could even be presented online.
This type of journalism is highly essential in today’s corrupt society, a society full of secretive governments with hidden, unknown, and self-beneficial agendas. (1 ) Getting involved in the field of investigative journalism is very risky and needs skilful journalists. With tasks such as setting up interviews for investigative stories it is extremely difficult because, these stories usually expose people, governments or organizations, and so finding someone who is willing to put their own self at risk by speaking about the particular issue is very rare.
This is the reason why some journalists have to sacrifice some of their morals in order to tell lies or twist the story they are covering to actually persuade these people to take part in their investigative piece. Although it is unethical for them to do so, the gain from telling these lies are usually far greater than the sis at hand. For example, Basher’s “Living With Michael Jackson” documentary gifted him with worldwide fame and recognition. Basher was welcomed into Michael Jackson’s Nonverbal home, to show the world how the King of Pop lived.
After Michael Jackson allowed him into his home, he later accused Basher of wrongfully depicting him in his documentary, suggesting he was a child molester. According to a documentary made on the Michael Jackson and Basher conflict itself, Basher was also accused of attempting to drive a wedge between Michael and his father Joseph Jackson by presenting Joe as a cruel ND brutal father. Though Michael frowned on his fathers excessive strictness, he later praised Joe as a genius, which Basher failed to mention. 6) Teeth CICS of Investigative Journalism Journalists freedom to operate is governed by an international legal framework that guarantees significant rights, as well as by national legal codes that are sometimes more restrictive. ‘Public Interest’ is a key concept in defense against legal attacks and in making decisions. It refers to information which the public will be better-off knowing or worse-off not knowing, not simply what interests the public. Defamation laws exist to protect individuals’ reputation and dignity.
Defamation is the crime of publishing something that could lower a person’s reputation. Everybody, including public figures, have the right to privacy. Journalists have to be able to demonstrate the relevance of their private to their public life to justify breaching privacy. “Official Secrets laws” exist nominally to protect national security, but can be and are used to restrict press freedom. The scene of official secrecy has in many cases been made tighter by anti-terrorism legislation.
Journalists need to know the press laws hourly and also need to know that all reporting requires ethical decision- making at every Stage. (4) Investigative journalism is largely an information-gathering exercise, searching for facts that are not easily available by simple requests and searches, or actively being concealed, suppressed or distorted. Where investigative work involves undercover journalism or use of weightlessness, and even more if it resorts to covert methods more typical of private detectives or even spying, it brings a large extra burden on ethical standards.
Anonymous sources are double-edged. They often provide especially seaworthy information, such as classified or confidential information about current events, a previously unreported scandal, or the perspective of a particular group that may fear retribution for expressing certain opinions in the press. The downside is that the condition Of anonymity may make it difficult or impossible for the reporter to verify the source’s statements. Sometimes, sources hide their identities from the public because their statements would be discredited rather quickly.
Thus, statements attributed to anonymous sources may carry more weight with the public than they might if they were attributed. The Washington press has been criticized in recent years for it’s excessive use of anonymous sources, in particular to report information that was later revealed to be unreliable. (5) International Case Study #1: Edward Snowed, Whistle Blower In the United States of America (US), a scandal broke out in early June 2013 when The Guardian newspaper reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.
The paper published the secret court order, directing telecommunications company, “Verizon” to hand over all its telephone data to the NSA on an ongoing daily basis”. That report was followed by revelations by both the Washington Post and Guardian stating that the NSA tapped directly into the servers Of nine internet firms including Faceable, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to track online communication in a surveillance program known as “Prism. ” Britain’s electronic eavesdropping agency CHI was also accused of gathering information from the online companies via “Prism. Shortly afterwards, the Guardian revealed that ex-CIA systems analyst, Edward Snowed was behind the leaks about the US and UK surveillance program He has been charged in the US with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence. Edward Snowed has fled the county ever since. The information of this massive leak was made known and made worldwide with the help pastoralist, Glenn Greenland. Greenland left “Salon. Mom” on August 20, 2012 for The Guardian, citing “the opportunity to reach a new audience, to further internationalist my readership and to be re-invigorated by a different environment” as reasons for the move. On June 5, 2013, Greenland showed interest on the story of the top-secret United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order requiring Verizon to provide the National Security Agency with telephone metadata for all calls between the CSS and abroad, as well as all domestic calls. Edward Snowed, a former contractor of the LLC . S.
National Security Agency, first contacted Greenland in late 2012. Snowed contacted Greenland anonymously and said he had “sensitive documents” that he would like to share. Greenland found the measures that the source asked him to take to secure their communications, such as encrypting email, too annoying to employ. Snowed then contacted documentary filmmaker Laura Patriot in January 2013. According to The Guardian, what originally attracted Snowed to both Greenland and Patriot was a Salon article authored by Greenland detailing how Patriot controversial films had made her a “target of the government”.
Greenland began working with Snowed in either February or in April after Patriot asked Greenland to meet her in New York City, at which point Snowed began providing documents to them both. Greenland published several articles based on classified surveillance documents he received from National Security Agency leakier Edward Snowed. Prominent elected officials in the United States have accused Greenland of being complicit in the crimes they accuse Snowed of committing, which feeds suspicions, both domestically and abroad, that Greenland might face legal action if he returns to the U.
S. Therefore as an investigative journalist, he has faced the risks involved. Brazilian officials had publicly announced that the Brazilian government would offer Guardian writer Glenn Greenland protection from the U. S. Government after determining he risks facing legal action if he returns to the International Case study #2: Watergate Incident Between 1 972 and 1976, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein emerged as two of the most famous journalists in America and became forever identified as the reporters who broke the biggest Story involving American politics.
Beginning with the investigation of a “third-rate burglary” of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex, Woodward and Bernstein uncovered a system of political “dirty tricks” and crimes that eventually led to indictments of forty White House and administration officials, and ultimately to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The story of Watergate Scandal can be traced back to June 17, 1 972, when five men were arrested for burglary at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DEN), located in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.
C. Subsequently, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of ‘The Washington Post’ teamed up to unveil the actual culprits behind this high-voltage felony. Their editor Benjamin C. Bradley, backed both of them up whereas an anonymous source named ‘Deep Throat’ greatly helped them in nailing the perpetrators of the entire incident After a backbreaking campaign of life- heartening investigation, they revealed that the staff of President Richard Nixon carried everything out.
Top administration officials were convicted and jailed in the Watergate Scandal, but it marked a historical significance on August 9, 1974, when Nixon resigned from the presidency, becoming the only American President to resign during tenure. Woodsiest got an everlasting fame for the sensational piece of investigative reporting and till date, aspiring journalists and extremely sublime figures of the field worship them. In the journalism lexicon, the reporting duos have earned a cult status. People noticed The Washington Post’s and its reporter’s remarkable persistence on a story, which a lot of people were not into at the beginning.
As the story was beginning to take root, a lot of young people at the same time were beginning to think in idealistic ways about their careers. The story grabbed so much attention that many were attracted to the idea that journalism could really make a difference in society, and that this would be a career path that could be rewarding meaningful and life changing. It also had an enormous impact on the practice of investigative journalism. Woodward and Bernstein wrote two best-selling books on the case and a popular movie was produced about it. Enrollments in journalism schools were also booming after this case.
The Watergate incident was one of the most impact investigative journalism case with eventually brought upon the resignation of a US president, and in terms of impact, this is as heavy as it gets. Local case study #1: NEFF Saga The National Kidney Foundation Singapore scandal, known as the NEFF saga, was a July 2005 scandal involving National Kidney Foundation Singapore (NEFF) following the collapse of a defamation trial, which it brought against Susan Long and Singapore Press Holdings (SSP). The case caused a massive backlash and fallout of donors to the charity.
Subsequently this resulted in the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer, T. T Durra and its board of directors. Allegations surrounding the scandal included, false declarations on how long Neff’s reserves could last, the number of patients it has, installation of a golden tap in Durum’s private office suite, his salary, use of company cars and first-class air travel. T. T Durra was arrested on 17 April 2006 and charged under the Prevention of Corruptions Act by the Police. A S$12 million civil suit to recover funds by the new NEFF board against Durra and four other former board members began on 8 January 2007.
The Straits Times published an editorial “NEFF: Controversially ahead Of its time? ” on 19 April 2004. It was written by senior correspondent Susan Long. The article became the subject of the dispute, and eventually the lawsuit that led to the scandal. Durra and NEFF challenged the first six lines of the article, which claimed that a retired contractor (who declined to be named, for fear of being sued) had ‘lost it’ when he was asked to install “a glass-paneled shower, pricey German toilet bowl and a (S$l ,OHO) gold-plated tap” in Durum’s office.
The tap was later replaced later with a different material. NEFF shortly issued a letter of demand for an apology, retraction, and payment of damages from the paper’s publisher, Singapore Press Holdings (SSP), within 24 hours. Four days after the article’s publication, NEFF and Durra served a writ on Long and SSP for defamation, demanding S$3. 24 million in damages. They claimed that the six paragraphs in the article implied the mismanagement of donors’ funds, that the installations were scaled down only due to the contractor’s protests, and that it had avoided providing further details on that matter.
The trial began on 11 July 2005, with Long and SSP represented by Senior Counsel and MM Diviner Sings, while Senior Counsel Michael Shook represented NEFF and Durra. Under cross-examination, it was revealed that Durra collected a monthly salary of $25,000 and collected a 10-month bonus in 2002 and a 12-month bonus in both 2003 and 2004, for a total of $1. 8 million over three years. He had access to a fleet of eight chauffeured cars and the NEFF paid the taxes and maintenance costs Of his personal Mercedes- Benz.
The focus of the scandal turned to the revelation of Durum’s 5$600,000 pay, which caused widespread feelings of outrage, anger, and betrayal among the public. Some 3,800 regular donors cancelled their contributions the day after the trial, and Naps headquarters was vandalized with graffiti. The long-term effects of this scandal include questions about the level of transparency in other institutions in Singapore. Opposition politicians, notably Cheek Soon Juan, have noted that the issues at NEFF would probably not have been revealed if T. T. Durra had not sued the Straits Times.
Four people linked o the Singapore Democratic Party held a silent demonstration outside the Central Provident Fund (CUP) headquarters in July 2005, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “GIG HAD NEFF CUP Transparency now! ” thus demanding greater transparency from the Government Investment Corporation (GIG), the Housing Development Board (HAD) and the CUP. The protesters were arrested but later dismissed without charges, with their own countersunk for unlawful detention dismissed with costs. All of this would not have come to light without the help of journalist Susan Long who took a picture of the gold tap and started this whole saga.
Impact of Investigative Journalism Investigative journalism has uprooted many hidden truths and this places a big impact on the public, as their trust would have been damaged. Also, due to many cases of fraud being brought to light, there have been stricter laws put in place to prevent such issues from ever happening again. (2) Reporters who dig up carefully buried facts about those in power can easily find themselves in danger. In countries where a tradition of watchdog journalism has not yet taken hold, the risks of practicing investigative reporting can be real and physical for those reporters that take it on.
Conclusion The most important and main job of an investigative journalist is to seek the truth. As Pulitzer Prize winner Walter Lapping stated in his collection of essays, Liberty and the News, “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and shame the devil. ” Whether investigating the wrongful conviction of a death-row inmate, or exposing a financial giant for misuse of investors’ funds, investigative journalism is critical for the upholding of a true and just democracy. Also, the difference between the way the police and journalists operate is that hey work under different ethical frameworks.
Ethics deals with how to distinguish between right and wrong. It can be said that journalists work on the thin line between legal and illegal, and they often cross it. This means that journalists can obtain information, often by deception, using false identities and using hidden cameras and/or microphones. This is an area of concern. Does getting a good or important story justify the way in which the reporter gets his or her information? The answer to this question is perhaps an essay in its own right, but it does highlight the fact that journalists can play detective sing a different set of rules than the police.
Investigative journalists must be careful how and when they work. They need to be accountable. Most journalists work under very clear journalistic principles and as a result get good reports that make a clear difference.