Date of Defense
Dr. Richard Digby-Junger
Dr. Jocelyn Steinke
Investigative reporting has undergone a dramatic change in the last 25 years, in large part because the nation's population has changed. Gone are the passive Americans who simply ignored the initial Watergate stories. In their place are the cynical Americans whose curiosity and determined natures will change the face of investigative reporting. Investigative journalism no longer encompasses the "watchdog" function of the American press: the surveillance of governmental and political institutions and personnel and their conformance to ordinances and regulations and to social values and norms resembling law, as it did in Watergate (Harrision and Stein 14). In addition, most editors are too busy avoiding possible law suits and pleasing advertisers to bother with the time-consuming ideas behind investigative reporting. Instead, the good that comes from investigative journalism has been cheapened by the public's ever changing outlook on investigative reporting. Journalists are to blame in large part because of less-than-stellar reporting efforts such as the Iran-Contra Scandal and the Food Lion case. The public is also to blame to a lesser extent because they are holding a grudge against the media world for their prior mistakes.
Heald, Danielle E., "Investigative Reporting: Good Journalism, Bad Stigma" (1997). Honors Theses. 1815.
Honors Thesis-Campus Only