SEMINAR REFLECTION – INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

After the lecture on investigative journalism, we discussed the positives and negatives regarding this type of journalism. As George Orwell once said: ‘journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations’. As a journalist you are the middleman between the government and the public and are often referred to as the ‘fourth estate’. We said that as a journalist, you should always be on the outlook for information that is of interest to the public and relay this in an easily and understandable manner. Without investigative journalism, many scandals would not have ever been exposed, for example the MPs taxes scandal that was exposed by The Telegraph Group. We said that these revelations would not have been known to the public if it wasn’t for investigative journalism, which is why we agreed that the concept of investigative journalism is a very important one and that it should be at the core of journalistic work. We also discussed a scenario when so called ‘investigative journalism’ was misused by entertainment journalists who exposed Tulisa’s drug scandal. We argued that this was not effective use of the concept, as it does not provide crucial information to the public. However, some of us argued that there are people out there who do indeed want to read about such stories. Towards the end wee argued that it is clear there is a demand for these stories about celebrity scandals and agreed that if there is an audience for it, such stories should perhaps be produced and available to the people who are interested in them. We said to that journalists must consider ethics and standards before going out to cover such stories, and debate whether it is in the public interest, that is whether it is valuable information to the welfare of the general public.

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