Thursday, June 7, 2012

Investigative Reporting Revived?

Investigative reporting is coming back to the news rooms. An article from talks about the rise and fall of investigative reporting and the possibility of it coming back to mainstream news reporting. Investigative reporting was launched in the mid 1970s and many great investigative reporters such as Steve Wilson and John Pauly emerged from that time period. Investigative reporters were more like professional investigators. Most of the time they are tracking down targets, placing hidden cameras and microphones, and waiting outside of the targets' building. The work can be very tiring and time consuming.

Because of the long hours and huge amount of resources required, a lot of news station had shut its door on investigative reporting. Investigative reporting is just simply not cost and time efficient. News stations are also under great pressure and deadline to produce news. As a result, it has slowly became a rarity in the world of journalism nowadays.

“The trend is that stations call promotional stories 'investigative' while shrinking or disbanding their investigative units,” Joe Bergantino, former WBZ-TV Boston reporter, commented on the transformation of investigative reporting in recent years. “Serious, in-depth investigative reporting happens on rare occasions in local television news.”

What is the reason, then, for the possible come back of investigative reporting? Luke Moretti, news anchor and reporter at WKBW, said that “Research has shown viewers want more investigative stories on the air". Moretti has done a recent investigative piece on burglar alarms that "kicked off the recent May ratings period" for his station.

The initiation of investigative reporting comes from viewers' feedback and demand for more in depth news story.

“Viewers are demanding stuff beyond the house fires and car accidents,” said Channel 2 News Director Jeff Woodward. “They want TV news to dig deeper into the issues affecting their community.”

For more information, be sure to check out the full article.

Reported by Ashley Huang

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