Investigative Journalism: Dying or Just Changing?
SKYLER HAMMONS, Staff Writer
Is investigative journalism a dying career? Is it becoming outdated and not needed? The answer is no; the game of investigative journalism is just simply changing. For years, this type of journalism was perceived by the public as reporters going to court houses and chasing down the story’s subject or the person’s peers to question them. As technology and people change over time, so do jobs and how they are performed.
For example, most teachers don’t teach with chalkboards or whiteboards anymore; they use an upgraded version known as a smartboard. Farmers don’t use a horse and plow to produce their crops. Retailers use cash registers that are now on tablets. As these jobs have changed, so does investigative journalism.
People don’t see investigative journalism as much anymore because a part of it can be done from the office. Instead of having to go and get court records on who was arrested that week, people can now go online and look up certain court documents and records because they are public records and they can be accessed by anyone. Some interviews, while not preferred, can be done via email or by cell phone.
“It has never before been as easy to access information as it is today, so shouldn’t it be also the golden age of investigative journalism, when information can be sent around the globe within seconds? In my perception investigative journalism has become a rare good and is only rarely seen in the wild,” stated in an article by Manuel Schwarz with the website Medium.
Investigative journalists will always need to be around because they show people the truth behind things that others don’t want them to see. The Watergate Scandal is an example of how this type of journalism can affect the public and how it can bring things to the surface that people wouldn’t have seen without the help of these reporters.
“We always need investigative journalism to shine a light, where others would prefer there to be darkness,” James Beaty, a journalist and managing editor for the McAlester News-Capital, said.
The McAlester News-Capital has received multiple awards for investigating journalism. They were actually invited to Washington D.C. to receive an award for investigative journalism that had news industries like The New York Times and Los Angeles Times there.