WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Fri - 22.09.2017


Award winning journalist Nick Davies on investigative journalism

Award winning journalist Nick Davies on investigative journalism

According to former UK Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year, and Feature Writer of the Year, Nick Davies, all journalism is investigative.

Davies spoke about his views on investigative journalism during the WAN-IFRA 2009 World Newspaper Congress .

He was critical, however, of celebrity news and similar genres, saying "this isn't journalism, it's constitutionally free, but it's garbage."

According to Davies, if you come across a journalist that says he is an investigative journalist, you have someone with a personality problem; because that's like saying the water in a bottle is wet.

"All journalism is investigative, because it is, or should be, an attempt to uncover the truth," said Davies, who recently carried out the Guardian's investigation into the News Corp phone-hacking scandal.

He thought long-term journalism was a better way to describe the kind of indepth projects that are usually described as investigative. usually occurs because someone is deliberately trying to construct information reporters need.

However, there is a threat to this so called investigative journalism, he said. That threat is commercialism. Commercial pressure that has come piling down on publications is taking time away from reporting.

Davies referenced an academic study in which it was discovered that only 12% of recent stories in the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Independent and the Daily Mail seemed to have had sufficient fact-checking. The same study found that journalists were producing three times as much space in the papers compared to 1985.

"You take away our time, you take away our ability to do our jobs," he said.

Looking through a micro perspective of journalism, there is the possibility that journalists will still be able to make an argument about getting more time for stories, but in a macro perspective, the solution is difficult to see, he said.

The value of journalists is different than the executives and businessmen who run the newspaper, and this must be recognized. Journalists should be able to select the stories that are important, and continue to find the truth and tell the truth, Davies said.


Links

Author

Spencer Jenkins

Date

2009-12-03 10:59

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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