Much ink has been spilled about the decline of investigative journalism in the era of cut-rate newspaper management. Quite a bit more of that ink was utilized explaining the quandary in last week's Wall Street Journal in a long and rollicking article by former WSJ editor Paul Steiger.
It's a long piece (and you can read it here), but one doesn't really hit any bumps until the very end. Steiger dovetails, perhaps a bit too self-servingly, into promoting his new gig: Heading up Pro Publica, a New York-based investigative journalism outfit.
Steiger's piece got us thinking: Is investigative journalism really doomed? And, if so, what are the ramifications of that? Is the Internet a friend or foe? Do you need time and money to produce good work or is that just a convenient excuse? And, finally, if a tree falls in the woods because of government malfeasance and an investigative journalist reports on it — do the people care anymore in the age of waterboarding?
In the coming days, weeks and months we'll be posing these questions to the good folks at Pro Publica and as many other luminaries of investigative journalism as we can get a hold of.
And no Deep Throat jokes. Well, maybe a few.
— Joe Eskenazi