WATCHDOG JOURNALISM IS… • Making the affairs of powerful institutions more transparent to the public. • Not only does it monitor government, but also applies to all the powerful institutions in society. • By changing the award from “Local Reporting” to “Investigative Reporting”, Pulitzer was putting new emphasis on the role of the press as activist, reformer, and exposer.
Watchdog Journalism means, “watching over the powerful few in society on behalf of the many to guard against tyranny.”
“Nine out of ten journalists believe the press “keepspolitical leaders from doing things they shouldn’t do,””(Kovach and Rosentiel 143).
EXAMPLES OF EARLY INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM Spie and Scout“Unlike the proclamations and town crierswho provided the information those inpower wanted distributed, these newperiodicals aspired to tell the people whatthe government actually did. Thoughgovernment often clamped down on theseearly printers, as it would so oftenthroughout the world, they establishedinvestigative reporting as one of the earliestprinciples that would set journalism apartfrom other means of communication withthe public.”
ENDLESS CRITICISMS LOSE MEANING, AND THE PUBLIC HAS NO BASIS FOR JUDGING GOOD FROM BAD.
3 TYPES OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM Original Investigative Journalism Interpretative Investigative Journalism Reporting on Investigation
Watergate was one of the biggest scandals ever and Woodward and Bernstein’s names have bee remembered for years for their brilliance in investigative journalism.http://www.youtube.com/watc h?v=1CA6gioR540&feature =colike
THE PENTAGON PAPERS WERE A MAJOR SCANDAL IN THE NYT.http://youtu.be/XwXylIaJ_Lg
The risks of this reporting…is that its value is largely dependent on the rigor and skepticism of the reporter involved.http://youtu.be/IOgNqHsVGU Y
WATCHDOG BEING WEAKENED-“Our obligation is not to deliver the news. Our obligation is to do good programming.” – Executive producer of ABC’s 20/20, Victor Neufeld How do you feel about this statement?
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO WATCHDOG?• …too much of the new “investigative” reporting is tabloid treatment of everyday circumstances.• Creating news devoted to exposure• The public may have no way of discerning between gossip and fact• Turning watchdog into a form of amusement• With most local news stations in America now featuring an “I- team” and prime-time newsmagazines offering the promise of nightly exposes, we have created a permanent infrastructure of news devoted to exposure.• With how the power of watchdog journalism was being weakened http://youtu.be/EWqdzcP4MTY by tabloid treatment of everyday circumstances, TV reporter Liz Leamy coined this phrase, “just add water.”
POWER OF WATCHDOGBecause what the investigative journalist discloses may lead to loss of reputation or change the flow of public events, it carries a greater weight of responsibility, not only in verification of fact but also in sharing information about the nature of the sources of that information.The watchdog is unlike any other role. For all that it is similar to all other journalism, it requires special skills, a special temperament, a special hunger. It also requires a serious commitment of resources, a desire to cover serious concerns, and a press independent of any interest except that of the ultimate consumer of the news.The single most important technique in his career is “getting the documents.” Documents are everything they are just as valuable as sources.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE!1. It affects you more than any other type of journalism.2. It is very powerful and very unique but historical. An individual that pursues this calling must have a, “serious commitment of resources, a desire to cover serious concerns, and a press independent of any interest except that of the ultimate consumer of the news.”3. If you don’t acknowledge what your leaders are doing then they are going to take control of your life.4. Checks and Balances as a fourth estate.