Bring Back Investigative Reporting

The combativeness between the United States Department of Defense and WikiLeaks is witness of demand for lucid investigative reporting. Traditional media appears to be stumbling over itself trying to play catch up with the whistle blower website located in Australia. Let’s understand wiki technology and its pitfalls before lauding the work of Julian Assange, who in my humble opinion is as transparent as marble.

New media like wikis and tools like smart phones metamorphose news reporting. These new instruments make investigative journalism easier and more treacherous at the same time. Watchdog journalism requires fearless custodians with tremendous ethics.

A Columbia Journalism Review article applauds WFAA TV in Dallas, Texas for its commitment to fund investigative journalism. Again IMHO, traditional media must welcome the expense of watchdog journalism to maintain audience lest the likes of WikiLeaks assumes the role of freedom of information in a democratic society. Local television and newspapers and their websites have the brand to garner trust. Local media also has the resources.

Every journalist should own a smart phone of the brand they choose. The handheld computers have high definition point and shoot cameras and video recorders. They are portable and readily at hand when a reporter stumbles upon news worthy events. The devices also offer the ability to be stealthy.

Wireless transmission of text, photos, video and audio permit 21st century journalists capacity to truly deliver breaking news. The speed of reporting new technology offers is powerful and requires experienced journalist’s oversight to guard truth and life. I believe the maturity of aged investigative journalists at Belo’s Dallas television property contribute to the quality of the station’s watchdog journalism.

Senior journalistic empiricism, new tools, new media, training, commitment, time and money are all required for investigative reporting to return and truly serve the audience. More is available than WikiLeaks to transform watchdog journalism.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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