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Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Most investigative journalism is done by newspapers.
As part of an investigation, journalists make use of:
Analysis of documents, such lawsuits and other legal documents, tax records, government report]s, regulatory reports and corporate financial filings.
Investigation of technical issues, including scrutiny of equipment and its performance
Research into social and legal issues
Subscription research sources such as LexisNexis
Numerous interviews with on-the-record sources as well as, in some instances, interviews with anonymous sources (for example whistleblowers)
Federal or state Freedom of Information Acts to get documents and data from government agencies.
The Pulitzer Prize
is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper journalism, literature and musical composition.
Seymour (Sy) Myron Hersh
is a United States Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters.
Fund of Investigative Journalism
FIJ is a group of professional journalists.
The Fund for Investigative Journalism was founded in 1969 by the late Philip M. Stern
Nowadays, it is headed by Seymour Hersh.
For more than 30 years, the Fund for Investigative Journalism has helped to finance exposes of harmful and wrongful conduct, such as corruption at all levels of government; corporate, governmental and press nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance; abuses of civil and human rights and of the environment; unsafe medical technologies; and improper donor influence on research in academe.
The Watergate scandal was a political scandal in the United States in the 1970s, resulting from the break-in into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. Effects of the scandal ultimately led to the resignation of the United States President Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974. It also resulted in the indictment and conviction of several Nixon administration officials.
The connection between the break-in and the re-election campaign committee was highlighted by media coverage. In particular, investigative coverage by Time, The New York Times, and especially The Washington Post, fueled focus on the event. The coverage dramatically increased publicity and consequent political repercussions. Relying heavily upon anonymous sources, Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered information suggesting that knowledge of the break-in, and attempts to cover it up, led deep into the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and even the White House.
The main mass media periodicals which are interested in investigative journalism are: