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Investigative Reporting

James L. Aucoin


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Investigative journalism is the product of independent work by reporters and editors, which reveals a public or social issue that would otherwise remain unknown. Reporters produce original investigations for → newspapers , → magazines , → books , broadcast outlets (→ Radio ; Television ), newsletters, and news websites (→ Internet ). The process of investigation may take days, months, or years and include reviewing public documents, conducting multiple interviews, surveying public opinion, analyzing databases, or the like. Investigative reports are usually comprehensive and much longer than other → news stories . Investigative reporting goes beyond official statements and meetings of government, business, and other institutions to reveal information these groups would keep secret from the public. The reports expose abuse of power, corruption, criminal activity, human rights violations, miscarriages of justice, or official neglect. Some investigations have an ideological perspective and aim to bring about the reform of government, business, or institutional policies and programs. Reporters have conducted these investigations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and western European democracies since the late nineteenth century, but the practice has spread elsewhere in the world since the 1990s. In 2008, 488 journalists from 58 countries attended a conference on investigative ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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