Posts Tagged ‘Summer School’

Article: Future of investigative reporting

Friday, August 18th, 2006

The Journalist magazine, August/September 2006 issue

New techniques of accessing data online could lead to a revival of serious and challenging investigative reporting. HEATHER BROOKE reports from a London conference that highlighted the possibilities of computer-assisted reporting

Fact is more expensive than fiction, and with journalism now a business like any other, in-depth reporters are finding themselves priced out of the market. At the fourth Summer School for Investigative Journalism (July 21-23), 130 journalists and researchers discussed a profession under threat and how best to cope in the current economic and political climate.

The three-day conference was held at City University in London where the Centre for Investigative Journalism is now based. The event attracted reporters from the BBC, the heavy papers, independent production companies, the regional press, agencies and foreign journalists from Europe and America.

Speakers included Alfred McCoy, who exposed the CIA’s links with international drugs traffickers and use of psychological interrogation techniques; Anna Politkovskaia, a Russian journalist who is best known for her fearless coverage of the war in Chechnya, and Charles Lewis, the founder of the Centre for Public Integrity in Washington.

Two moods permeated the conference. The ‘doom and gloom’ set grizzled over the demise of mainstream investigative reporting programs. A petition went round to support senior reporter Luc Hermann whose investigative programme 90 minutes is being cut from Canal Plus in France. Charles Lewis, former 60 minutes producer, told delegates of his continuing frustration with the lack of resources allocated to in-depth reporting by the mainstream media in both the US and UK.