Investigative Shortfall

American Journalism Review magazine published a series of stories in September exploring the decline of investigative journalism around the country. I was surprised when I discovered that the writer decided to lead with me on the main story when I had been part of another article, The Withering Watchdog, a PBS series published last year.

Yet, I commend American Journal Review for spending the time and ink to show how investigative journalism has been affected in recent years.

The article, by Mary Walton, also highlights the explosion of investigative nonprofit centers across the country. Interestingly, this is something I had devoted a lot of energy during the past 15 months, building the framework of Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

I’m hoping this will be the last article I read about the decline of investigative journalism though. Many of us are working hard to produce investigative journalism that matters. We are committed to our work because we believe that this is the future of investigative journalism. At least for now.

Think about it: if you don’t know what the government is doing with your dollars, or if corruption is running amok, how would you know? It’s the media’s job to keep you informed about these issues and more. But as resources shrink in newsrooms across the country, so has the ability to dedicate time and energy to produce in-depth reporting.

We can’t allow that to happen. I care too much about my community to ignore all these facts and that’s why I’m proud to be part of Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

I hope the future holds more stories about the growing trend of investigative nonprofits around the nation and how these new start-ups are seeking new innovative ways to become sustainable.

But more importantly, how they are using all the technology available to produce stories that cause change and make this world a better place.


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